Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dogs can NOT handle THIS HEAT!

I worked a half day today. Just before I left a puppy had died, from heat stroke.
That morning we were also told about another client who had "forgotten" their dog was outside. He was 6 years old and he didn't make it.
Just yesterday, another client rushed in with their Great Dane who had been outside all morning. When they brought him inside their house, he drank some water and then fell over. He was rushed to our clinic and luckily the staff was able to bring down his temperature and he was able to go home later that afternoon.
I just don't understand. I let my own dogs outside and stand at the door and watch as they go "potty" and then I let them right back inside. I leave the air-conditioners going all day while I'm gone.
I also don't understand why people go "running" in this weather. But even more, why they run their dogs with them. Maybe they should take off their running shoes and run barefoot on the blistering pavement with a fur coat on.
There are several articles on the Internet concerning pets and HOT WEATHER.
Here is one of the better ones. I found it here: and it was written by Caroline Coile :
Summer is the season most of us look forward to for outdoor activities, but dogs don't do as well in hot weather as people do. Read on for hot weather tips that may save your dog's life.Summer is the season most of us look forward to for outdoor activities, but dogs don't do as well in hot weather as people do. Sometimes it's kinder, and far safer, to keep your dog at home. But whatever you do and wherever you go, keep these tips in mind:
Be aware that not all dogs handle heat in the same way. Dogs build up heat as a function of volume and lose it as a function of surface area. This means that larger dogs with rounder bodies have less surface area for their size, and build up heat faster.
In addition, dogs lose heat through evaporation from their nasal passages and tongue. This means that dogs with flat faces are less able to lose heat. As a rule, the bigger the dog and the flatter the face, the more prone they are to overheating. Overweight and old dogs have an even greater risk, as do dogs with thick fur.
Fur coats can be hot. Fur provides some amount of protection from the sun, but thick fur prevents body heat from escaping and promotes overheating. It's a myth that shaving a dog's coat makes him hotter. Shaving it to the skin can make him vulnerable to sunburn, but cutting the fur to about one inch can help him stay cooler. If you don't want to shave him, brush as much undercoat as you can out, and be sure no solid mats are there to trap heat and moisture.
Don't exercise your dog when it's warm. He wanted to run, so you took him jogging. You only noticed he was in trouble when he started to stagger, then fell. His breathing is rapid, his gums red, and he has thick, profuse saliva. He's in full blown heat stroke, and you must act fast to save his life. See later in the article for instructions.
Unfortunately, veterinarians see far too many dogs in this situation every year, many of which succumb. Dogs overheat before people do, so even though you may be just a little warm, your dog can be lethally overheated. On warm days, exercise your dog first thing in the morning, late at night, or only where he can cool off in water. And beware of hot asphalt!
Keep your dog out of parked cars. You only meant to be gone a minute. But once in the store, you got distracted, you forgot just how hot it was outside, and by the time you came back, a crowd was around your car. This time you were lucky. A broken window, the scowls of onlookers, but your dog is alive. Next time he might not be.
Studies show that the temperature inside cars can heat to lethal temperatures within 30 minutes even if the weather outside is relatively cool. Regardless of outside air temperature, cars heat up at a similar rate - gaining 80 percent of their final temperature within 30 minutes. Cars that start at a comfortable 72 degrees F (22 degrees C), for example, soar to a deadly 117 degrees F (47 degrees C) after 60 minutes in the sun. Cracking the windows scarcely affects the temperature inside.
Nobody keeps statistics on dog deaths from being left in cars, but about 30 to 40 children die in parked cars each year. Considering that dogs aren't allowed in most places children are, and that dogs overheat more quickly than children, it's likely that hundreds of dogs die in closed cars every year.
Be prepared for travel emergencies. You're driving with your dog on a hot day, enjoying the air conditioning. Suddenly the car dies. As you wait for help, the temperature is rising, and your dog is starting to get overheated. If you have water, offer some to him, and pour some over him. Next time, prepare by bringing a cooler with ice and a small car-battery-powered fan. Soak your dog and a towel in ice water, have him sit on the towel, and aim the fan at him. Air blowing over your dog's wet skin and fur cools him just as your sweat in a breeze cools you.
Provide for comfort at homekiddy pool and fill it with water so he can soak in it and cool off. If possible, aim a fan at him from a sheltered place so he has a breeze. If your dog is left inside, you may need to run the air conditioning, or at least a fan. If the weather is very hot, you may need to find a way to guard against electrical outages while you're away. Some pets have died when the electricity, and thus air conditioning, unexpectedly went off during the day.
Spring can be just as hot. Just because it's spring (or fall) don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Many people who are aware of summer heat hazards fail to take the same precautions in spring, when their dogs may still be wearing their thick winter coats. Don't be caught off guard!
Cooling a Hot Dog. Don't plunge an overheated dog into ice water. This causes the peripheral blood vessels to contract, actually trapping the overheated blood at the body's core -- just where it does most harm. Instead, cool the dog slowly by placing him in cool water, or by draping him with wet towels and aiming a fan at him. Offer him plenty of cool water.
If you have a thermometer, cool him until his temperature reaches 103 degrees F (39 degrees C), then stop, as it will continue to decline. As soon as you have him cooling, race him to the veterinarian. Even if he appears to have recovered, he needs to go to the veterinarian because some delayed but deadly effects can still occur even days later.
Not All Dogs Can Swim! Although swimming is a great exercise in warm weather, make sure your dog can swim first! Some breeds, such as bulldogs, French bulldogs and Pekingese, have the swimming ability of cinderblocks. And even good swimmers can drown in backyard pools if they don't know where the steps are to climb out.
Dogs and UV Rays. Dogs, especially light-skinned dogs, can get sunburn and melanoma. If you dog likes to sun worship, rub a sunblock on his belly and the top of his nose, the most common sites for sunburn.


sassypackrat said...

My dog stays indoors with me in the air. My neighbors unfortunately keep their dogs outside 18 hours a day all year long, in heatwaves and blizzards. I really want to punch them in the face! The neighbors not the dogs. I have sprayed their dogs off over the fence with my hose before when I couldn't see any water out for them. Seriously why have dogs if you don't want them to spend time with you?! It's our job to keep them safe just like you do for a child! Sorry sore subject for me. I'm so sorry to hear about the poor dogs that didn't make it. Makes me so sad and really mad.

Thanks for the tips. I never thought about what would happen if I broke down in the car with Lita. Now I'll pack a cooler and a towel every time we run errands. Although when it's this hot I don't take her with.

Anonymous said...

Interesting facts!
This is a problem we usually never have to deal with here thankfully, except for when idiots leave their dogs in the car!!

But we are allowed to destroy car windows if we see a dog locked in a car now days. We just have to make sure the car doesn´t have the air-conditioning on :-) :-)

When somebody has been stupid enough to leave their dog in the car they usually gets attacked by angry people when they return :-)

Have a great day!

Robin Kent said...

So sad to read. Why are people so inconsiderate? I thought people considered their pets as family. What would we do if a baby was locked in a hot car? Call the police I say!