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Friday, July 21, 2006
It's HOT out there.... please remember your dog

What Climbing Temperatures Mean for Dogs

The “dog days” of summer pose a particularly dangerous threat to “backyard” dogs: heatstroke. Many people know about the danger of leaving dogs inside cars during the warm summer months, when temperatures can climb to well above 100°F in just a matter of minutes.

But for backyard dogs chained outside and deprived of water, shade, and ventilation, the threat of death has nothing to do with cars—even though they might be tethered to an old jalopy. Baking in the summer sun in a barren yard—day after day, week after week—takes its toll and kills many of these animals.

Beating the Heat

Beating the summer’s oppressive heat is extra tough for dogs, because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads. Heatstroke can occur quickly and can result in brain damage or a gruesome death that’s often preceded by panic and seizures.

If you know of a backyard dog in your community, why not do what you can to make his or her life a little better? The following are some simple tips for helping backyard dogs in warm weather:

1. Let the owners of these forgotten animals know that a dog’s needs for water and shade are especially urgent during the summer months.

2. Ask them to give their dogs fresh water twice a day, or offer to do so for them.

3. Urge them to let their dogs inside during heat waves, much like some owners do during spells of bitter-cold weather during the winter.

4. If your dog isn’t allowed to be a part of your family, why not change that, starting today, by keeping him or her inside with the rest of your loved ones, at least while the weather is dangerous?

Signs of Overheating and How to Respond

Watch all dogs for symptoms of heatstroke, such as restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of coordination.

If a dog shows any of these symptoms, get him or her into the shade immediately and call animal control or the police (if the dog is not your companion) or your veterinarian (if the dog is your companion). Lower the animal’s body temperature gradually by providing water to drink; applying a cold towel or ice pack to the dog’s head, neck, and chest; or immersing the dog in lukewarm (not cold) water.

There are countless other ways that you can improve the life of an “outside” dog—these dogs truly need every friend that they can get.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a dog and it gets seriously scary when the heat is on. Good advice.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Advise...put yourself in their paws, how would you like to be outside for hours on end in this heat.They have feelings too.

Blogger Kristi said...

Not only your dog, but YOUR BABY! Man I hate stupid moms.

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