Summertime is here, and with that comes warmer temperatures, and some special considerations for those of us that live in Sunny Southern California. Heat Stroke, and Paw Burns are a major concerns for dogs that are out and about in the middle of the day. To avoid problems associated with the heat keep pets indoors or in a shaded area during the middle of the day with access to plenty of water. Brachiocephalic breeds such as Boxers, Shi tzus, French Bulldogs, American Bulldogs, and Pekingese have higher risk of heat stroke due to their respiratory anatomy. These breeds should be kept indoors in a home with air-conditioning or temperatures that do not reach above 75 degrees.
Clinical Signs of Heat Stroke
- If you notice your pet having any of these clinical signs please call a veterinarian immediately so that they can further advise you as to what you can do, and so that your pet can be seen.
- Excessive Panting
- Small amounts or no urine production – Suggesting Dehydration
- Muscle Tremors
- Wobbly or uncoordinated movement
Outdoor Dog Runs – Special Considerations.
If you plan on keeping your pet in a dog run during the middle of the day make sure it is shaded away from the elements, with several areas where your pet can access water. Adding a outdoor fan and/or a misting system to that area is also a good idea. With water being a regulated resource you can now purchase solar powered, temperature regulated automatic misting systems – where you can set them to only come on if the temperature is above 75 degrees.
Never, ever, ever leave your dog or cat in the car while your run errands – especially in the summertime. Even with windows cracked open cars act like an oven and can rise 20-40 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Below is a quick chart comparing the temperature outside, to how hot the car will be in just several minutes. If you need to run errands and your pet will not be allowed inside it is better to keep your pet at home, it is just safer.
In the summer do not walk your dog in the middle of the day. Asphalt, cement and even dirt trails can become very hot and cause burns to your pet’s feet. These burns are not only painful, but over time can become infected. Instead walk your pet near dawn or dusk to prevent burns on feet.
If you have to walk your pet in the middle of the day we suggest buying your pet booties – the ones purchased at REI are the best on the market right now. But realize that if you place booties on your dog when you go out for a walk your dog will overheat faster. Dogs lose heat through their paws – they can’t sweat – so placing booties on your pet should be a last ditch effort to protect your dog’s feet in the middle of the day.