It’s July and that means summer is absolutely, officially here. I’m going to sound like a broken record over the next paragraph, before I hand you off to Canine Journal to read up on the signs of Heat Stroke in dogs. Pet care is something dear to my heart. I’m a dog owner and have been for all of my life. I have the pictures to prove it. I come from a family that raised and showed dogs. Dogs are meaningful. Dogs are living beings and have sentience. So, let’s make sure we act accordingly…
These are some basics that you need to remember for taking good care of your pet in summer.
- Don’t walk them on pavement in the heat of the day without protection for their pads. Keep to the grass, early or late in the day. If they have a fenced yard, great!
- Make sure they have shade if they’re going to be outside for extended periods of time. You don’t like standing in full blazing sun, so don’t make them.
- Your dog wears a fur coat 24/7. Be mindful of how that must feel in warm weather. The old information you have about this is from misinformed sources. Dogs overheat in the heat–hence panting. Check out the article below for more information.
- Provide plenty of fresh cool water to drink. Not only do they need to stay hydrated, but this helps them to cool their bodies. They don’t sweat like we do, so their body’s efficiency needs a little help on summer days.
- DO NOT LEAVE A PET INSIDE A CAR UNATTENDED — EVER. Whether it’s summer or winter, do not leave your pet in the car unattended. A number of things could happen. I should tell you about the time Sadie chewed the handle on my emergency brake and shifter (I drive manual). There are things they can destroy or ingest. Someone might steal them–dog fighting rings scour neighborhoods for unattended dogs to use for bait. Someone might just want your dog enough to take them from you. Avoid heartbreak and leave your boy or girl home and safe. No more, “Oh, I’m just gonna run in.” You can now be ticketed or fined. People are being advised to call 911 if they see a pet left in a vehicle.
- Don’t feed your dog from the picnic table. Most hot dogs, sausages, salads and sauces have onion or garlic in them (as do flavored chips). Onion is toxic to dogs. It destroys red blood-cells, and the toxin builds in the system, never flushing out. Garlic is considered toxic on the off chance that it’s relationship to the onion is closer than assumed, though veterinarians haven’t conclusive proof it acts in the same way (My vet at Harmony Vet in Ballston Spa, NY). Be on the safe side.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Overweight dogs suffer much more in the heat, because the extra weight makes them exert more energy and the fat layer acts as an additional insulator. Stop with the scraps. Unless you make homemade dog food according to a nutritional plan between you and your vet, there is no reason to give your pet table scraps (still working on this with my Mom and Dad and Sadie). If you feel compelled to give them things, make it fresh vegetables like carrots, broccoli, green beans. Do not give mushrooms, onions and garlic. Since you cook your meats with sauces and spices, these should be avoided too. Watermelon, apple slices, peach slices, and banana are good. I had a Doberman who loved oranges. check this list for no go foods: http://www.caninejournal.com/foods-not-to-feed-dog/
Have a happy and safe summer with your pets! (Cats should avoid the same foods dogs must avoid.) Read the article below to learn more about canine heat stroke:
Heat stroke in dogs is a life threatening concern. Learn signs of a heat stroke and find tips to prevent and treat one in the future.