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Dogs and Hot Weather

We’ve recently had some very hot and humid days and, as we are now entering into August, we can only expect more of the same weather.

It can never be said enough but, as much as we enjoy the hot days of summer, it can be extremely dangerous for our furry four legged friends and caution should be taken when we are out with our pets.

During extremely hot weather, your walks should be kept short and in as much shade as possible. You should always have fresh water with you while walking your pup and a collapsable bowl or other container to give your pup water while out. Walks should be kept to early morning and late afternoon or evening when the sun is not as intense.

Certain dog breeds are even more vulnerable to heat such as pugs, those with a flattened nose, dogs with very heavy, long coats and all senior dogs.

If your pup has been out in extemely hot weather for any length of time and shows signs of distress, he may be experiencing heatstroke.

When you see your dog looking very lathargic, panting excessively, shaking or having a seizure, you need to act quickly.

Never pour cold water on your dog or place a cold, wet towel on his back. In doing so, the cold will cause the veins to contract and the high temperature outside will cause the proteins in the blood to clot, making the blood thick. This combination results in the heart not being able to get the blood to the vital organs and the organs will fail due to lack of oxygen.

If your pup is in distress, or you think he may be suffering from heatstroke, give him lukewarm water to drink. Then take a damp towel, not cold, and cool the soles of his paws and chest and the lower abdomen. You should then move your pet to a shaded area and have him lie on a damp towel. It may take several minutes for your pup to respond. Watch your pup carefully and, if he does not seem to be responding or goes limp, you should take him immediately to an Emergency Vet Clinic.

Heatstroke in a pet can happen if your pet is exposed to long periods of time outdoors without adequate shade and no water or while jogging or running. Your pet can also become overheated if riding in a car for an extended period of time, especially if they are in the back of a vehicle in a confined crate with the sun coming through a window.

If you are travelling with your pet, be sure that there is adequate air circulation in your vehicle and that the sun is not shining directly on your pup or his carrier. Stop frequently to provide him with a break and water to drink and never, ever, leave your pet in a car, even if it is in a shaded area. The car will heat up quickly, and your pet could have a slow and painful death.

So try to enjoy the hot and humid days of summer, but always be cautious of your furry friends.

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