DOG days of Summer

My Old Farmer’s Almanac Calendar says we are now in the dog days of summer.  I guess you could say this post is dedicated to all the dogs out there who are dealing with the heat of summer.

Here in Pensacola, Florida it is just plain HOT!  We had an unusual respite from the heat and humidity over the Fourth of July weekend with unheard of humidity lows in the 60% range and our temperatures in the high 80’s.  Unusual to say the least.  However, today we are back to our normal sizzling temperatures.

My garden is struggling with the heat.  This morning I pulled out a couple of the Roma tomato plants and some of the cucumbers that just fried under the hot, unrelenting Florida sun.  My two hairy dog-children, Sugar and Spice, lasted in the humidity for about 5 minutes before begging to come inside.  It is just too much for them.

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Sugar, chilling inside with the air conditioner blasting.

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Spice, snoozing in the family room.

I cannot say enough about pet safety during these hot months.  Please insure that your dog has adequate water and shelter from the sun.  Sugar and Spice are almost 11 year old Pomeranians.  As their age advances I have noticed that the weather bothers them more and more.  Older and younger pets need special care during the summer.  Take care walking them on hot sidewalks or pavement because their paws can burn.

dog-paws-hot-pavement

(Image from http://www.schnauzers-rule.com/summer-safety.html)

Use care when you take your pet with you in your vehicle.  A car heats up quickly and can kill your pet.  If it is too hot outside for you, think about how hot it must be for your pet.

ihateheatstroke

The Humane Society of the United States of America at http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/pets/hot_car_flyer.pdf offers the following tips:

If your pet Is exposed to high temperatures:

•   Look for signs of heat stress—heavy panting, glazed
eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait,
vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.

• If your pet is overheated, move him to a cooler
area and take these emergency steps:

1. Gradually lower his body temperature by applying
cool (not cold) water all over his body or soaking
him in a cool bath.

2. Place cool, wet towels over the back of the neck,
in the armpits, and in the groin area. You may also
wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water. Direct
a fan on the wet areas to speed evaporative cooling.

3. You may offer fresh, cool water if your dog is alert
and wants to drink. Do not force your pet to drink.

•   Take your pet immediately to a veterinarian—it could
save his life. Call ahead, if possible, to be sure your
veterinarian is available.

•   If you see an animal in a car exhibiting signs of heat stress,
call your local animal care and control agency or police
department immediately and take the following steps:

1. Get the vehicle’s tag number and enter the nearest store
or business to request an emergency announcement
be made about a pet left in a hot car.

2. Go back and wait for police at the vehicle.
heat stress Is not the Only danger your pet faces
when left alone in a car. Many pets are stolen each year
from unattended cars.

Many pets prefer to stay home, but if you must take
your pet with you in your car, do so safely: Cats should
ride in pet carriers, and dogs should ride in travel crates
or wear a safety harness. When a pet travels, he should
wear two ID tags—one with a home address and one
with a destination address.

For more information about responsible pet care, contact
The HSUS at 202.452.1100 or check humanesociety.org/pets.

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