The hot days of summer are here again and dogs generally know what to do when the weather is to warm. Unless we ask them to go with us or to do something for us dogs slow down in the warm weather, they find the coolest spot to relax and stay out of direct sunlight if possible.
There are plenty of articles online about what to look for when your pets are overheating, and I highly recommend reading a few to learn more about heat-related canine conditions because a heatstroke can kill your dog, cat or rabbit and actually any animal, including yourself. Here's a good article to start with from the AKC Canine Health Foundation
As a master groomer who has worked in many pet grooming shops and show or boarding kennels without air conditioning in some of the hottest locations in the USA, I have dealt with animals overheating and saved the life of quite a few. I also worked search dogs in 100 degree weather and have shown weight-pulling pit bulls in Texas summer heat over 100 degrees.
Here's a few tips I've learned through the years of raising and working with dogs indoors and outside.1. Watch your dog in the heat of the day, usually between the hours of 10am-4pm if they are not in a cool place.
2. Do not leave pets where they can overheat and not reach water. Like in cars, yards without shade, kennels on cement slabs without dirt or shade. Sunny house rooms without AC-pull the drapes to keep the heat out.
3. Always try to make sure they are in a nice cool place with plenty of water.
4. Beware of grooming shops because when there are many pets in one room, in cages and hair dryers blowing the room can overheat quickly. Dogs die often in grooming shops because of this. (No I never lost a pet while working) Ask your groomer if they have AC ? and what do they do to ensure pets stay cool when hair dryers are running? Do they cage dry pets? Cage drying is Very dangerous in hot weather if they use heat. It's best to get an early morning appointment if you can.
5. Ask boarding kennels and pet sitters about air conditioning and how they keep pets cool too. Just think of the number of animals housed in one spot and how quickly that spot can heat up. Be sure to inspect the place your pets will stay in hot weather. Many kennels run misting water spray over outdoor runs and this keeps the wire and cement cooler. Pets can get burnt feet too if dog walkers or kennels are not careful.
Panting with the tongue hanging out is normal for dogs to do in many areas of daily life, they pant when they are happy, stressed or excited and also as a means to sweat off heat in the body. They cannot sweat like we do because of the fur covering their bodies so they sweat where there is no fur, the pads of the feet, a little bit on the ears, the belly or underarms a little but nothing like we humans do. Dogs don't get smelly sweaty underarms, thank god!
Panting is a good indicator for when your animal is overheating, especially in pet birds, chickens, rabbits and cats who do not pant unless they are overheating or really stressed out. When you see these animals panting then the time has come to cool them down by spraying water around and over them or moving them to a cool place. If stress related, calm them.
Keep an eye on panting dogs who are working or in warm location and watch for the dog's tongue to roll over at the end when they are panting and the mouth drying up, not slobbering as much means the dog is starting to overheat. Time to act and cool them down, now!
Frozen water bottles are great to place in cages and crates when transporting animals in hot weather. A large frozen soda bottle of water lasts a couple hours in outdoor rabbit cages or dog crates. Tie in place so the animal can lay next to the bottle. Of course make sure they have water or they will try to get the ice.
Stay cool and safe this summer everyone!
|copyright A. Higgins Daisy's pups pool|
Here's a good one to try!
Here's one like a collar too!
Last but not least, a really good idea for crates, car rides, elderly pets and puppies-a cooling blanket
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