temperatures and the blazing sun can spell trouble for
dogs left outside in the heat.
with 100-degree days playing out in some parts of the
country, that means itís time to take extra care to
keep your dog comfortable and healthy, experts say.
experts say, be smart. Walk your dogs or take them to
dog parks during the early morning or late evening
hours, when itís cooler. If the pavement is hot to
your touch, itís probably too hot for your dogís
paws. And never leave them inside a vehicle.
left outside must have access to water, food and
adequate shelter," said Whitney Hanson, director of
development and communications for the Humane Society of
North Texas. "In the summer months, itís crucial
that the shelter includes shade, and if possible, some
kind of breeze."
adequate shade and water, dogs can experience
dehydration or heatstroke, conditions that are
life-threatening if left untreated. Other problems
associated with warmer weather are parasites, sunburned
skin and hot pavement. The good news is that all of
these things are preventable.
bad news is that dogs donít sweat, which means they
can quickly become dehydrated.
sweat as humans and dogs donít," said Lori
Bierbrier, a staff veterinarian with the American
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
national office in New York. "While theyíre
panting, theyíre also losing fluid, and they can
become dehydrated, as well."
humidity levels also make it more difficult for dogs to
dogs ó those with flat or short snouts, such as pugs,
bulldogs and Boston terriers ó have an increased risk
of heat exhaustion because their nasal passages do not
allow an ample flow of air, Bierbrier said.
the temperature, other factors to keep in mind are a dogís
age, tolerance to heat and existing health conditions,
if your dog loves the outdoors, even in the blistering
can purchase a baby swimming pool with just a little bit
of water in it," Hanson said. "But itís not
a substitute for having shade. You can take a jug of
water and freeze it and leave it in the dogís shelter
area so he can lean up against it and keep cool."
to people, dogs can get sunburn from too much direct
exposure to sunlight. Using sunscreen is a good idea,
especially for white-haired or other fair dogs, said
Hanson. Be sure to ask your vet for a recommendation on
which sunscreen product to use, she added.
problems can even happen indoors. Turning off the
air-conditioning or keeping it too low can cause a pet
to become uncomfortable or overheated.
it can get really hot inside," Bierbrier said.
"Keeping it at a cool temperature is necessary for
the safety of the pet. If it gets really hot, it can
unfortunately cause trouble."
a dog in a car on a hot day is one of the most dangerous
things a pet owner can do.
the temperature is 95 outside, the inside of a car can
reach 114 degrees in 10 minutes and 129 degrees in 30
minutes. So the time it takes to go to a grocery store
can become very uncomfortable ó and in some cases,
deadly ó for a dog left in a hot car.
safer to just leave pets at home, said Hanson.
rarely intentional abuse or cruelty," said Hanson.
"Itís really a form of overconfidence. No one
thinks it will happen to them. They think theyíll just
run into the store for five minutes, and then five
minutes turns into 15 minutes. Within that time, the
temperature inside the car has skyrocketed, even if the
windows are cracked."
overheated dog risks going into heatstroke, a condition
that could rapidly advance into a life-threatening
that reason, all dog owners should know the warning
signs of heatstroke, said Tim Morton, a veterinarian and
assistant director of the city of Fort Worth Animal Care
and Control center.
of heatstroke in dogs include excessive panting,
appearing disoriented, lethargy, feeling very warm to
the touch, nausea, bloody diarrhea and seizures.
a pet experiencing heatstroke, there is need for
immediate attention from a veterinarian," said
the way to the vet, the dog can be wrapped in cool ó
not icy ó towels so the body can begin cooling.
work to further cool down the petís body temperature
to prevent the organs from shutting down, Morton said.
rainfall creates ideal conditions for breeding grounds
for mosquitoes and fleas, which pose another danger to
mosquitoes are out in full force," Hanson said.
"It only takes one mosquito bite for your dog to
the long run, it is much cheaper to give your dog a
monthly heartworm preventative medication.
is a heartworm treatment, but it is very hard on your
dogís body," Hanson said. "Left untreated,
heartworms are deadly."
are another issue. They can cause an infestation not
only on your dog, but also in your home.
that are allergic to fleas can get major skin infections
and itís very uncomfortable for them," Bierbrier
said. "They can also transmit tapeworms. And if the
fleas are on your dog, theyíre also getting into your
carpet and bedding."