Thursday, July 21, 2011

Don't Be Cruel, Keep Your Dog Cool

Don't be Cruel, Keep Your Pet Cool
Please keep an eye out for your pet. The weather is already near 100 degrees and during these hot and humid months pets can suffer from a condition known as hyperthermia or heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when your pet absorbs an excessive amount of heat that they cannot properly dissipate. The symptoms you need to be aware of are:
• Vigorous panting
• Dark red gums
• Collapse/laying down and unwilling to get up
• Disorientation
• Vomiting/diarrhea
• A rectal temperature of 104 degrees or higher
• If you notice any of these symptoms please call your veterinarian immediately.
There are many ways to keep your pet safe and to prevent heat strokes. Here are a few things to remember:
• Puppies can't regulate body temperature as well as adult dogs. Your puppy can get overheated when exercising on a hot day so bring along plenty of water.
• Don't exercise your dog during the hottest parts of the summer.
• Watch for signs of heat stroke: excessive panting; noisy breathing;bright red gums and tongue; weakness and collapse
• If it is too hot for you to walk on the sidewalk concrete barefoot then it is too hot to walk your dog. The pads of their paws will burn.
• Walk your dog only early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has set. Bring along water and make frequent water stops. Don't take long walks in the heat of the summer.
• Dogs cool themselves by panting and if the panting does not reduce the heat then the dog can have a heat stroke.
• Dogs get sunburned, especially dogs with short hair.
• Overweight and older dogs have more trouble in the hot days of summer
• Snub nose dogs have poor panting mechanisms and are more susceptible to being overcome by the heat.
• Panting does not cool your dog well when outside temperature and and body temperature are close to 103 degrees.
• Walk, don't run: In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them. They can quickly become severely overheated, and an "exercise" session can turn into a medical emergency.

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