When is “Warm” TOO “Warm”?
heralds the arrival of spring and many of us can’t wait to
get outdoors and start enjoying the warm weather. We lather
ourselves and our children lavishly with sun screen and
dress in appropriate clothing. We pack bottles of water to
drink, and snacks to eat. Then we get into our cars and off
we go to parks, sporting events and jogging trails, often
accompanied by our furry friends. But wait…did you take the
proper safety precautions for your dog?
Before you go
anywhere, stop and think about where you’re going and what
you’ll be doing. Are you going to the park - or maybe the
beach? Are dogs allowed? Is there a leash law? Arriving
at a destination and seeing the “no pets allowed” sign can
certainly be a deterrent to a fun-filled day. Parking the
car in a shady location with the windows slightly open and
the doors locked is not the solution.
automobile temperatures can rapidly climb to over 150
degrees within minutes, turning the inside of the car into an
oven. The dog's body temperature also rises and he or
to pant in an attempt to cool down. Within a very short
period of time, the dog could be facing a very life
threatening condition called heatstroke.
doesn’t only occur in vehicles. It can also happen right in
your own backyard, just by leaving your dog outside in the
blazing sun with no access to shelter or shade. If your dog
must be outside – which is something we do not recommend -
make sure there is plenty of fresh cool water available as
well as a shady area where he or she can go to get out of
the sun at all times of the day. Remember that the sun
shifts during the course of the day so areas that were shady
in the morning may not be shady in the afternoon.
symptoms of heatstroke are rapid breathing through the
mouth, increased heart and pulse rate, reddened gums or
purple tongue, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, thickened saliva,
a dull, staring expression on the face, and total collapse.
Your dog does not need to display all of these symptoms to
be experiencing heatstroke. You must start medical care
First, try to
lower the dog's body temperature, cooling it from the inside
out. If you’re outside, move the dog inside or to a cooler,
shady area and get him or her some cool (not cold) water to
drink. If water is not available, let him or her lick ice
cubes or ice cream – but not chocolate since that’s toxic to
dogs! If the dog is unable to drink or is unconscious, DO
NOT attempt to pour water down his or her throat. You don’t
want to add choking to this medical emergency. Apply cool
water all over his or her body. Apply ice packs wrapped in a
washcloth or towel to the top of the dog's head, back of the
neck and the chest. DO NOT wrap the dog in a wet towel or
blanket – this traps the heat next to the body. Get
him or her
to the vet as soon as possible. Heatstroke ALWAYS requires
immediate veterinary attention. Call the vet or emergency
clinic in advance to notify them of the type of emergency so they can be prepared to act
immediately upon your arrival.
going to be standing or walking on sand or hot pavement,
remember that both of these mediums absorb the sun's rays and
heat up quickly. Although your dog's paw pads may feel
calloused and thick, they are actually quite sensitive and
can burn when they come in contact with hot sand, sidewalks
and streets. If the bottom of your feet feel the heat, then
so do the pads on your dog's paws.
is nothing more enjoyable than watching a Golden romp in the
ocean or swim in a pool. But remember that ocean water
contains salt and pools contain chlorine which can be an
irritant to their skin and eyes. Allowed to dry, it will
also damage their fur. So after swimming rinse them off
with tepid fresh water. Be sure to get down to their skin.
Clean out their ears to prevent “swimmer's ear,” and brush
their coat to prevent mats. An excellent ear wash to use is
Blue Power Ear Treatment.
http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/BLUE.HTM. DO NOT shave
your Golden; their beautiful fur coats act as a barrier
between their skin and the sun and helps prevent sunburn and
skin cancer. Be sure to have shade available and plenty of
fresh cool water for them to drink at all times.
exercise your dog in the early morning before temperatures
rise for the day, or later in the evening when temperatures
start to drop. Be sensitive to overweight and senior dogs,
or dogs with medical conditions such as mega esophagus,
lung disease. In extremely hot or humid weather, these pets
should be kept indoors in air conditioning as much as
these simple warm weather tips will help ensure that your
pets will enjoy a healthy and happy spring and summer.