So far this summer the DFW area has had 17 days over 100 degrees! On average we have 10 so it is hot, hot, hot! A few weeks ago, I wrote about the dangers of leaving your dog in a parked car for even the shortest amount of time. Dogs can't perspire and can only dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. Healthy pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to summer swelter. Heat stroke can be fatal if not treated promptly. As we go about our summer activities, we need to remember how the summer has hazards for our fur kids.
Even the Diva Dane likes her walks, but we have had to change our schedule some! Our walks are a little shorter and we are going earlier or later to stay out of the hottest part of the day. It is a good idea to limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws. I figure if I can't walk across the driveway in bare feet Mocha can't do her mile on the sidewalk.... (not exactly scientific, but you get the idea) ,
Sunburn in a fur coat! Yup...Pets can get sunburned too, and your pet may require sunscreen on his or her nose and ear tips. Pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. Mocha's white belly will turn pink if she lays in the sun too long, so I limit her sunbathing time.... silly girl LOVES to lounge in the grass in full sun in the middle of the day!
Dehydration can effect your dog too! Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water, ice cubes and opportunities to drink for your pet. Be alert for signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue. If your pet becomes overheated try to cool it down with cool water on the pads and body and try to bring them to a cooler spot. If you think your dog has heat stress go directly to the vet to be sure!