I am hot and bothered
Keeping your fur baby safe in the heat
Summertime is upon us and is time for fun and frolicking but it’s also fraught with danger for our fur babies. When the temperature rises, we need to take extra caution to make sure our loved ones are okay in the heat. Some dog breeds are less tolerant of the heat than others. Here are some key tips to help keep your fur baby cool and safe.
• Provide adequate shade and ventilation for fur babies at all times
• Providing Constant Access to Water (the same here)
• Offer cooling treats. You can freeze beef or chicken broth or other tasty liquids in an ice-cube tray to make a frozen treat your dog will enjoy. One or two ice cubes might help as well not too many, please.
• Dogs cools from the bottom up, make sure to spray the paws and stomach and not just the top of the dog. A wet towel does more good on the bottom of your dog than when laid on the top of the coat or spray cold water on fur babies. Make sure the water gets under the belly, between the legs, and under the tail.
• Open the loft hatch to let hot air escape from the house
• Set up a small wading pool or similar container of water for your dog to jump into and keep his cool in the where ever you can
• Don’t leave pets in vehicles in the heat; See Just 6 minutes and Dogs Die in Hot Cars
• Avoid exercising your fur babies in the heat of the day; and aim for mornings and evenings, take water with you on the walk.
• Use doggie boots to protect their pads and do not only prevent dogs from absorbing the cold in winter, they also isolate heat.
Signs of overheating may go unnoticed or ignored in pets. Look for signs of overheating before they become serious health risks:
—Dark pink to red tongue lolling out of mouth
—Dry, tacky mouth and mucus membranes
—Lifting feet to avoid hot pavement
—Slowing down and dragging on the leash
These are all signs that a dog is too hot.
If your fur babies temperature is 105 degrees or greater, it is in danger of heatstroke and needs immediate medical attention. You can take the measurement from the rectum underneath its tail by the way.
While calling your vet or a veterinary emergency center, begin cooling measures. You do not want to cool too quickly, and you want to stop cooling efforts when the temperature reaches 103 degrees. Cooling too much or too fast can create more complications.
You can use ice packs or bags of frozen vegetable wrapped in a towel. Place them against your dog’s skin, inside the front and hind legs and along the neck. These are the areas where there major blood vessels are located. Cooling the blood as it passes under the ice packs will help cool the interior of the dog.
Stay cool – Whatever way it feels right