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Baby, It's Hot Out There


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Tips for keeping pets safe in the summer

  •      Dogs (and cats) die in hot cars: Okay, even if it’s only 80 outside (which doesn’t sound so bad), in 15 minutes, even with windows cracked open, it hits over 115 inside a car (according to a Stanford University) study.

    Not being able to cool themselves very efficiently, dogs (and cats) can die in hot cars. Leaving a pet in a closed car is actually against the law in many states and cities, including Illinois and Chicago. If it’s over 80 degrees and you see a pet alone in a hot car, and you can’t locate the driver, I say, call law enforcement. <

  • Because dogs generally don’t sweat (only a tad from their paw pads) and they pant to cool themselves – they’re not as efficient at self-cooling as people. Dogs with the most difficult time are large dogs in general, especially dark colored dogs which “cook” in the heat.
  •      Take long walks and runs early in the morning or after sunset. Always bring along water for the dog to drink….and water to mist the dog (using a plant mister, for example) if it is still very hot.
  •       Don’t leave any dog unintended in a yard for long periods of time. Dogs without shade and water can overheat and die. It’s against humane laws not to provide an appropriate environment outside. Some people tie down or tether dogs, never a good idea….Most of all, your dog wants to be with you, not left outside to languish in the summer sun.
  •      Don’t leave dog unintended in a yard for long periods of time is a rule that even goes for yards with pools.

    Even if your dog is a veritable  Michael Phelps; veterinarians report cases of dogs who know how to get out of a pool, but for whatever reason they can’t – either too exhausted or too slippery – they drown. And other dogs (like Pugs, Boston Terriers, etc) who fall into the pool by accident; not adept at swimming at swimming in the first place – and they may drown.

  •       Some dogs will play fetch forever even if their bodies are saying ‘Stop! I’m too hot!’ YOU be the adult in – even if the dog is having fun – and decide it’s enough.

        GREAT SUMMER GAMES FOR DOGS include a water hose or kids’ plastic swimming pool – anything to keep the pup wet and cool. Of course, swimming in a lake or river is good, or backyard pool – as long as there is adult supervision.

 
 

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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