Keep Your Cool and Your Dog Too

By Deborah Taylor-French for Dog Leader Mysteries

Heat stroke happens to people and pets.

Your dog needs help staying cool. Yes, I have a dog who loves to lay in the sun and feel wonderfully hot. Believe me, Sydney can get too much of a good thing like sunbathing. Lately, Sydney A.K.A. “Pork Chop” has had too much of his favorite foods.

Now he gets snap peas and celery instead of table scraps for treats.

This April in northern California, the temperature jumped from mild to hot. A local animal shelter supervisor reported surprise that this spring season began with three dogs rescued from locked parked cars.  These three dogs ended up in the animal shelter and under the care of the shelter’s veterinarian.

All three dogs suffered from heat stroke.

Dog at animal shelter
Dog at animal shelter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dogs overheat quickly.

Cars and trucks act like solar ovens heating pets and children left inside for just a few minutes.

Never leave a pet in a car on hot days.

Open car windows do not prevent furry pets from overheating.

“Heat stroke occurs most commonly in the summer, especially early in the summer before dogs have had a chance to acclimatize. Older dogs, brachycephalic dogs, and overweight dogs are at a higher risk. It’s best to keep your dog inside or in the shade during the heat of the day, especially early in the summer. Never lock your dog in the car during the warm months. And remember that shady areas may become sunny as the day moves on, so a yard that’s cool and shady at 9 a.m. may be scorching hot at 1 p.m.” Dogster Vet  The Top 8 Summer Hazards for Dogs “Keep your dog safe as the weather gets nice with these tips from our resident vet.” 

Try this Role Play with Your Pet

Imagine you’re a very young child. You cannot open a car door. Your mom parks the car, saying, “I’ll be right back.”

The car begins to heat up. Your mom left you wearing a down vest, or fur coat, and a warm hat. You can’t take off these thick-warm outer layers.

The heat in the car rises. In a few minutes, the heat rakes your face then your nose and eyes dry out. You feel itchy allover. You squirm.

Soon, you begin to pant. Panting is the only way you can cool off. But the more you pant, the faster you try to get the hot-prickly-feeling out of your body. Through a small open window more hot air presses inside the car.

Each minute the car continues heating up like a metal barbecue with the lid on.

Your head hurts. You feel dizzy and slump over in your seat. You cannot take a deep breath. Hot air stings your nostrils. You panic and begin scratching the doors and windows.

No matter where you move or what you do, hot air chokes your nose and mouth. Your stomach aches. Finally, you faint from lack of air.

English: Canadian man wearing a fur coat and h...
English: Canadian man wearing a fur coat and hat circa 1910 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some dogs do not grow fur. Like poodles they grow hair. When it thickens, just like thicker wool coats, the person wearing it retains heat faster. Poor Sydney, he is off to the groomers today to be shaved so he can enjoy the warm weather.

Keep your cool and your dog too!

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