Summer Safety for Dogs

With temps starting to rise in our area of Southern California, we thought that a few summer safety for dogs pointers from may come in handy

Here's some tips with some minor excerpts from a recent article at webvet.

With summer in full gear, dog owners are anxious to get.......
off the sofa and out into the glorious land of blue skies, fresh
air and endless sunshine. As tempting as it may
be to want to take Fido with you everywhere you go, remember that
the sweltering heat can take its toll on your dog.

Here are a few important things to remember as you and your dog
prepare for fun in the sun this summer:

#1: Dogs suffer from heat stroke

Like humans, dogs can quickly come down with a bad case of heat
stroke. However, unlike people, our canine counterparts have very
limited ability to cool off by sweating. Dogs have sweat glands
on their foot pads only. Their main mechanism for cooling down is
panting and it can be insufficient to lower body temperature on a
very hot day.

.. Some signs to watch for include according to Penn Vet:

- Heavy, loud breathing
- Staggering gait
- Bright red tongue or gum tissue
- Vomiting/diarrhea +/- blood after being in the heat
- Weakness
- Collapse
- Seizures

If heat stroke is suspected, after you get the animal to a cool
place, wet him/her down so that his hair is soaked and transport
him to your veterinarian as quickly as possible.

"Owners don't have very long to respond," said Dr. Drobatz. "The
pet needs to be cooled quickly and see a vet ASAP."
If veterinary intervention is put off too long, a series of organ
shutdowns can occur, including kidney failure, neurologic injury,
sepsis and more.

"It affects literally every organ in the body," said Dr. Drobatz,
leading to death."

end attrib Penn Vet

#2: Keep your pet hydrated

Whether your dog is playing in the back yard or you're exercising
with your dog in the park, make sure you always have an ample
supply of water on hand. At home, make sure his or her water bowl
is in the shade so the water stays as cool as possible and so your
pet doesn't run the risk of burning its tongue on an over-heated
bowl. An easy way to do this is to use half ice and half cold
water. If you're out and about with your pet carry an extra bottle
of water with you and bring along a small container from which they
can drink.

#3: Walk your dog during cooler hours

In the hot summer months, consider walking your dog either in the
early morning or late afternoon when the sun is least harsh.
Additionally, be sure to walk your dog on grass or dirt to avoid
burning their paws on the hot pavement and provide access to shade
at all times.

#4: Protect your dog from ticks, fleas and other pests's important to provide your pet with proper
treatment for the prevention of heartworms, ticks and fleas.
Depending upon the climate in which you live there are varying
guidelines, check with your pet's vet to ensure you're doing
everything possible to protect your pet. Make sure your vet knows
all of the products you are using as well as all the medication
your pet is on to prevent any drug interactions. If your pet
spends a lot of time outdoors, also look into purchasing a pet-safe
bug repellent to prevent annoying insect bites.

#5: Avoid crowded summer events

While it might seem like a good idea to bring your pooch along to
the local festival or parade, your dog is almost always better off
at home. The heat, noise, crowds and general excitement can be
physically and emotionally taxing for your pet causing a great deal
of anxiety and stress.

#6: Do your homework before shaving your dog

In the heat of the summer, many pet owners believe it's best to
shave their dogs - and in some cases it is. In others, it's not
such a good idea. If your dog is a swimmer, gets easily matted,
tends to shed a lot or spends a lot of time outdoors, you might
want to consider a summer shave. Reasons not to shave your dog
include that their fur provides protection from the sun, biting
flies, and mosquitoes. Believe it or not, many dogs feel "naked"
and vulnerable without their coats. Always check with your vet
before shaving your dog in the summer.

#7: Dogs need protection from the sun

As in people, overexposure to UV rays can give your dog a nasty
case of sunburn, peeling skin, painful inflammation and also
increase the risk of skin cancer. Because dogs have fur, people
often assume they are not in danger of getting sunburned. This
isn't true. While fur does provide some level of sun protection,
the bridge of the nose, ear tips, skins around the lips and other
areas lacking pigmentation are highly susceptible to sun damage.
There are specially formulated sunscreens available for dogs but
check with your vet to find the best solution for your pet.

#8: Not all dogs are born swimmers

Swimming with your dog is great exercise and can also provide
relief from summer heat. Despite popular belief, not all dogs were
born to swim. Theoretically all dogs can swim, however, some
breeds such as Bulldogs, Basset hounds and Pugs have more
difficulty than others. When encouraging your dog to swim it's
important to know its physical ability, stamina, body shape,
condition and breathing ability. Fit your dog with a PFD (personal
flotation device) if you are not sure about his swimming ability or
if you plan on taking him boating. Life jackets made for dogs keep
their head above water and have a handle on the back to make it
easier to grab them out of the water. The most important thing is
to remember to never force the dog, take is slow, have reasonable
expectations and have fun.

#9: Exercise good water safety for your dog

There are many safety precautions you should take when your dog is
around water. First and foremost, make sure your dog can swim.
Other dangers are less about the dog and more about the place they
are swimming. The key to water safety is to be aware of your
surroundings, make sure your pet is wearing a floatation device,
never let your pet drink the water in which it is swimming, and
always hose off your pet after swimming. If boating with your pet
remember the following: dogs get seasick too so be prepared, make
sure your pet has proper identification or is micro chipped in case
it falls overboard and is picked up by another boater or swims to
land, and remember, dogs don't know how to use the head so have a
potty plan in mind.

#10: Never leave your dog in the car

You should NEVER leave your dog in the car no matter how brief a
time. A car can heat up quickly even when it's relatively mild
outside, even with the windows cracked. On a summer day
temperatures inside a vehicle can climb in minutes and can spike
more than 40 degrees in just an hour. While you think you're
making your dog happy by bringing it along for the ride, you could
very well be jeopardizing its safety. And you know the old adage .
. . better safe than sorry." END Elizabeth Mason Woods

Summer is a wonderful time of year but it only takes a few seconds for tragedy to strike..make sure you follow these safety tips so that you and Fido will have a happy one this year and every summer


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