The dog days of summer are upon us, and just as every year, there are casualties. Even on cooler days, the heat built up by a blazing sun can be dangerous to our four-legged friends.
Most heat-related canine fatalities go unreported, but already this year a police dog died in the car of his handler. The officer, a nine-year veteran of the K-9 department and is said to be devastated by the loss.
Increasingly, civilians are running afoul of the law. Not only do they lose their family pet, but they are also charged with animal cruelty or criminal negligence. It is a criminal offence in 14 states to leave a pet unattended in a hot car.
If you see an animal in danger, say something. Start by trying to locate the responsible party who is likely nearby, before engaging law enforcement. The goal is to save the dog after all, and who knows how long before the authorities may arrive.
On a hot day, the time between fun and heatstroke can be very short, especially if the dog is out of shape or the humidity high.
Dogs don’t sweat like we do. We have sweat pores all over, but dogs only sweat through their paws and nose. Other than that they rely on cool water and panting to keep their temperature down. If the tongue is hanging out or the dog sits down then it is time to take a break.
Be extra careful if your dog is one of the following:
Even very fit, athletic dogs can suffer heat-related illnesses during the sizzling days of summer. But there are several ways you can help keep Fido safe.
Thankfully there are numerous pet cooling products to help pet owners keep their pups cool. Ranging from extravagant to simple, there are really no excuses to let Fido overheat.
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to take every precaution to keep dogs from getting overheated. If your dog’s temperature gets above 108ºF, heatstroke is the result. By the time a pet exhibits symptoms, it’s often too late.
Enjoy the summer, and whether you have four legs or two, stay cool!