Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Whew, it's hot!

Looks like we have a taste of what summer is about to bring -- icky heat just like Texas is so good at doing! This means we need to be safe with our dogs and keep them cool.

Remember dogs do not sweat through their skin like we do, so they take much longer to cool off and shaving them can be more hazardous than helpful. The best thing is to provide them with lots a/c, cool water and prevent them from overheating.

I do not recommend anyone keep a dog outdoors, no matter the weather, but especially during a Texas summer. The shade or a dog house will not often help much and heat stroke could definitely be a risk. Crate your dog indoors while you are away, where it is cool.

If your dog likes ice cubes you can give them ice cubes if you'd like. If your dog has been running, playing, training or anything that causes them to pant heavily you want to cool them off properly.

Also remember dogs can sunburn. A shaved dog or a hairless dog is at much higher risk, so watch out for this. Also, light and white skinned dogs are obviously at a higher risk. You can use sunscreen on your dog if you are out long enough that he needs it. A good sunscreen is Veterinarian's Best Sunscreen spray.

Signs to watch and things to do to keep your dog's body heat down:

1) Don't let them get too hot in the first place.

2) Watch that tongue! If it gets wider and wider, your dog is getting too hot. Stop what you're doing and take him inside to cool off.

3) Let them drink cool water but don't let them drink too much. They can get sick if they inhale a lot of water, or some dogs who are prone to bloat could be at risk for this.

4) It's best to let the dog just lie down and relax calmly for 30-45 minutes before letting them drink too much. If your dog will not settle on his own then crate him for 30-45 minutes with no bedding or blankets in the crate. After this time then you can let them drink until the cows come home.

5) If you are active with your dog--sports, training, hiking, running, etc.--then I recommend a doggie water supplement to maintain electrolytes and prevent dehydration. This is also great for dogs that are so worked up and/or stressed that they will not drink. These water supplements taste good and often make a dog want to drink! I love K9 Super Fuel by Animal Naturals.

Have a safe, happy and cool-as-possible summer!

1 comment:

  1. I don't let mine out for very long when it is so dang hot out. When I do though I keep them cool by keeping them soaked. Our new game is run through the sprinklers... or rather the water spray from the hose. They also have a pool (baby pool) to lounge in; however, they aren't out for very long...
    Thanks for the article! So important this time of year