Tag Archives: heat exhaution

Keeping your dogs out of the heat – always in style!

20160815_190217-1
Lilac looks so elegant these days! She’s on a summer walk with Jett and Mama Rose.

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

Most dogs love going for walks, romping at the dog park, leaping for Frisbees or sprinting for tennis balls. But during the “dog days of summer,” when temperatures are soaring, letting dogs overexert themselves (or forcing them to) isn’t doing them any favors. In fact, it could do them in.

Dogs simply can’t handle the heat. Unlike humans, they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their footpads. When ambient temperatures rise above 89.5 degrees, they can’t effectively shed their body heat, and when their body temperature reaches 106 to 109 degrees, heatstroke sets in, resulting in brain damage or death. Those who are elderly, overweight or flat-faced—such as pugs, boxers, bulldogs and other breeds—are especially at risk.

Making dogs run with you while you jog or bike during hot weather can kill them—they will collapse before giving up, and by then it may be too late to save them. Even those who are used to running and in good physical shape are in danger: Last month, for example, Mojo, a K9 officer with the Arlington Police Department in Texas, reportedly became overheated while pursuing a fugitive. Despite being rushed to an animal hospital, he didn’t survive.

Hot pavement, sand and other surfaces can scorch dogs’ sensitive footpads, causing pain, burns and permanent damage, as well as reflecting heat back onto their bodies. In Arizona last month, a pit bull reportedly died of heat exhaustion while hiking on a trail in 107-degree temperatures. The dog’s guardian called the police for help, but by the time the first responders arrived, it was too late.

You can protect your dog by walking early in the morning and late at night when it’s cooler and always testing the ground with your hand—hot to the touch is too hot for Spot. Choose shady routes, and walk on the grass instead of the pavement. Carry plenty of water and stop often in the shade to rest and take a water break.

Exercise and sweltering temperatures are a deadly combination for dogs, but the ones who can’t move are just as vulnerable on summer days. Countless dogs have suffered and died of heatstroke because they were chained or penned outside with no escape from the blazing sun and blistering heat.

In July, both a puppy and an adult dog in North Carolina reportedly died after their tethers became tangled in a bush, trapping them in direct sunlight with no access to shade or water. Also last month, a Labrador retriever in Maryland reportedly died after being left on a second-story deck in 90-degree weather. According to the police, the deck’s surface was even hotter—109 degrees.

Never leave dogs outdoors unattended, especially in the heat, and if there are chained or penned dogs in your neighborhood, check on them often to ensure that they have water (in a tip-proof container) and shade (as well as food and shelter), and encourage your neighbors to let them live indoors. If they lack these basic necessities, provide them with water and notify local authorities immediately.

It should go without saying, but hot cars are also death traps for dogs. Never leave an animal (or child) in a parked car in warm weather, even for a short period of time with the windows slightly open. Dogs can succumb to heatstroke within minutes—even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight. If you see a dog in a hot car, ask nearby businesses to page the vehicle’s owner or call 911 immediately. If the dog appears to be in imminent danger (e.g., rapid panting, bright red tongue, dizziness, vomiting), quickly find a witness who can confirm your account if possible and then take whatever action is necessary to save the animal’s life.

During the “dog days of summer”—and always—keep your dogs safe by keeping them indoors, with air conditioning or fans running and plenty of fresh, cool water available. Special cooling mats and vests for dogs can also help keep them comfortable.

And please, spread the word: Heat kills.

20160807_170458
Lilac and Jett

********

Two flower pics taken during our walk:

20160815_190238

20160815_190234

And the newbies at Rose’s shack:

20160816_125745

20160816_125807-1

Flower power!!!

Pics:Rose T.

Hot cars can be death traps for dogs

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

The dog days of summer are here, and many people are traveling with their canine companions or driving them to fun places like the beach or the dog park. But unfortunately for dogs, a joyride can quickly turn into a death sentence if their guardians leave them in a parked car, even for a minute or two. It doesn’t take much time for disaster to strike, and it does not help if the windows are cracked or there is water in the car. It’s simply too hot for Spot.

Every year, PETA hears about gruesome cases involving dogs who have literally been cooked to death inside parked vehicles. In a recent USA Today column by Sharon Peters, Plano, Texas, veterinarian Shawn Messonnier described what happens to animals who are left in hot cars. As the car heats up, dogs try to cool themselves the only way they can—by panting. But with only hot air to breathe, panting doesn’t work, and many dogs panic and try to escape the stiflingly hot vehicle by clawing at the windows or digging at the floor or seats.

Their desperation only increases their body temperature, and some dogs have heart attacks as a result. Without intervention, trapped dogs collapse, vomit and have diarrhea and soon lose consciousness as their organs begin to die. Death quickly follows. According to Dr. Messonnier, “When you do an autopsy on a dog [who] died this way, the organs are soupy.” Continue reading Hot cars can be death traps for dogs