By Stephanie Earls The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
When the hot weather hits, the two-legged have a multitude of options to beat the heat.
Without our assistance, dogs usually have just one option: panting.
Panting can exacerbate dehydration if a dog gets overheated. At just 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 125 degrees very quickly, even with the windows open.
Each summer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals receives dozens of reports of dogs that died after being left in hot cars by naive or careless pet owners.
Dogs already have a much higher body temperature than humans. And there’s all that fur.
Signs that your dog may be overheating include heavy panting, lethargy and restlessness.
Amanda Fairchild, a certified veterinary technician in Colorado Springs, Colo., offered these tips for keeping pooches happy and healthy in the summer:
•When traveling and a brief stop is necessary, roll down multiple windows. If it’s a safe area, secure the dog outside while you quickly go about your business.
Carry a doggie emergency kit: a Tupperware dish freshly filled with ice water, and a towel that can be soaked and applied to the dog’s back, stomach or neck if overheating occurs.
Consider a Kool Collar, an expandable dog collar filled with a reusable ice pack.
Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time, in blistering temps, are just as much at risk. Provide a shaded area, preferably with a concrete or stone floor, and plenty of water.
Place doghouses in the shade.
Consider crating a larger or thickly furred pet inside in the hottest portion of the day.
Add a child’s swimming pool (not inflatable) with fresh cool water to your dog’s habitat.
Paw pads are not shoes. Sidewalks and streets can become extremely hot and a dog’s paws can get burned. Keep your dog on the grass in extreme heat. Take those long beach walks early in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.
Prevent sunburn. Hairless and light-skinned dogs have a greater chance of getting burnt. Put dog-safe sunscreen on your pup if he’s going to be outside.