Protecting Pooch...

Posted by Pia

This past July was reportedly the hottest month of ANY in history since 1895 in the Continental U.S.! While this summer's record breaking temps might have many a Daily Wagger peacefully sipping a mint Julep... we must not forget how critical it is to protect our fellow creatures amidst this life-threatening heat. I think it's high time we review the life saving advice of friend, colleague and Pet Safety Expert Denise Fleck

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Keeping companions cool is critical!
 In the case of a pet heatstroke emergency, 
Pet Safety Expert Denise Fleck offers life saving training and tips.

1 Keeping companions cool is critical! In the case of a pet heatstroke emergency, Pet Safety Expert Denise Fleck offers life saving training and tips.

Dogs, cats and most other furry animals don’t sweat to regulate their body temperature (100.4̊ F – 102.5̊̊F).
(Deuce and Cleo lounging, Hillsdale, New Jersey)

2 Dogs, cats and most other furry animals don’t sweat to regulate their body temperature (100.4̊ F – 102.5̊̊F). (Deuce and Cleo lounging, Hillsdale, New Jersey)

Dogs pant to exchange cooler outside air with the warm humid air in their lungs.

3 Dogs pant to exchange cooler outside air with the warm humid air in their lungs.

Cats don’t usually pant until they are overwhelmed and overcome by the heat.
(Photo of Max and Sami hangin' out, by Blondie)

4 Cats don’t usually pant until they are overwhelmed and overcome by the heat. (Photo of Max and Sami hangin' out, by Blondie)

If the outside air isn’t cooler than their body temperature, an animal can succumb to Heatstroke.

5 If the outside air isn’t cooler than their body temperature, an animal can succumb to Heatstroke.

Old and overweight pets as well as short-nosed breeds are at the greatest risk.
(Oscar and Stewie, Rochester, New York)

6 Old and overweight pets as well as short-nosed breeds are at the greatest risk. (Oscar and Stewie, Rochester, New York)

An air-conditioned house is safest for your furry friend...

7 An air-conditioned house is safest for your furry friend...

...but the next best thing is a well-ventilated/insulated doghouse or a shaded porch with a fan or misting system. 
Johnny G. and....

8 ...but the next best thing is a well-ventilated/insulated doghouse or a shaded porch with a fan or misting system. Johnny G. and....

Provide fresh water throughout the day.
(Photo by Paul Morse)

9 Provide fresh water throughout the day. (Photo by Paul Morse)

and make sure that outside bowls remain in the shade even when the sun moves in the late afternoon.  
Photo by HelenMB

10 and make sure that outside bowls remain in the shade even when the sun moves in the late afternoon. Photo by HelenMB

Outside food bowls should be placed in a pan containing a few inches of water to keep ants out.

11 Outside food bowls should be placed in a pan containing a few inches of water to keep ants out.

Cot-style beds like the one above allow air to circulate around an animal and keeps them from direct contact with hot cement.
Beds that cool dogs down are also available.

12 Cot-style beds like the one above allow air to circulate around an animal and keeps them from direct contact with hot cement. Beds that cool dogs down are also available.

Also remember… Hot concrete & asphalt can burn precious paws! If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for paws.

13 Also remember… Hot concrete & asphalt can burn precious paws! If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for paws.

Walk your pets during the cool parts of the day 
and stick to the grass.

14 Walk your pets during the cool parts of the day and stick to the grass.

Dog shoes are great on hot surfaces for short periods of time, but since heat is expelled from the pads of the feet, you dog is likely to overheat if his paws are covered for long periods on hot days.

15 Dog shoes are great on hot surfaces for short periods of time, but since heat is expelled from the pads of the feet, you dog is likely to overheat if his paws are covered for long periods on hot days.

And NEVER leave an animal unattended in a car- even if windows are cracked and it's only for a few minutes.

16 And NEVER leave an animal unattended in a car- even if windows are cracked and it's only for a few minutes.

And if you see an animal of any kind in a car, be sure to locate an owner, alert them of the dangers or get help if the animal is in need of it.

17 And if you see an animal of any kind in a car, be sure to locate an owner, alert them of the dangers or get help if the animal is in need of it.

Do not assume all will be ok- you can simply stay nearby and watch until someone gets to the car if you prefer this approach.  But be sure the animal is ultimately safe.

18 Do not assume all will be ok- you can simply stay nearby and watch until someone gets to the car if you prefer this approach. But be sure the animal is ultimately safe.

Many people are not aware of how hot a car can get in very little time-and that cracking the windows is not a guaranteed safeguard.

19 Many people are not aware of how hot a car can get in very little time-and that cracking the windows is not a guaranteed safeguard.

It can be useful to educate others about the dangers of heat- but best to do so in a non-confrontational, non- accusatory manner.

20 It can be useful to educate others about the dangers of heat- but best to do so in a non-confrontational, non- accusatory manner.

Assume the car owner wants the best for his/her pet and did not intend to do harm.  Then you can explain things as one fellow animal lover to another.
(Kelly Backes and rescued Marty)

21 Assume the car owner wants the best for his/her pet and did not intend to do harm. Then you can explain things as one fellow animal lover to another. (Kelly Backes and rescued Marty)

Always remember to provide your fur kids with access to lots of fresh water.
 (Walter and Mojito of Pennsylvania)

22 Always remember to provide your fur kids with access to lots of fresh water. (Walter and Mojito of Pennsylvania)

Dogs need access to drinking water for safety but many of them also love to frolic in it as part of their summer fun!
Splish Splash!

23 Dogs need access to drinking water for safety but many of them also love to frolic in it as part of their summer fun! Splish Splash!

I'm no meteorologist, but I can safely say that if it's this hot for us humans, then our fur kids are undoubtedly feeling the burn even worse! Companion animals like dogs and cats are unable to sweat like humans - add to that that they are forever donning a fur coat- and you begin to understand just how important our role is in keeping these fur kids safe and cool!

While human animals are typically able to get water and retreat to a cooler locale- our companion animals are truly at our mercy when the heat sets in. One of the scariest things about heatstroke is that it can occur quickly and it's damaging effects can be progressive, lifelong and fatal.

It is best not to take any chances when it comes to heat and animals- leaving your pooch in a car while you make a quick run into the store is a BAD idea. According to Denise, "Even with windows open, a parked car can quickly reach more than 150 degrees resulting in heat stroke which can cause permanent brain damage, kidney failure, cardiac arrest and death. Never leave an animal unattended in the car for even a few minutes." And keep in mind that you may be away longer than planned due to any number of unexpected possibilities!

Other summer precautions include assuring that, if your companion animal is outside, there is a large supply of fresh water, shade and the ability to relocate to cooler areas as the sun's position changes. Many states now have anti-tethering protection laws that prohibit 'owners' from leaving a dog outside on a chain.

Also remember that any wildlife or feral cats that you feed also need plenty of water- preferably fresh water. Be sure if you are providing food or water to area animals, that you set it up in way that minimizes it's exposure to heat and insects. Containers placed in the shade under a dripping hose or where they can catch rainwater can be a useful way to provide ongoing water.

WHAT TO DO IN THE CASE OF HEATSTROKE
by Denise Fleck

• Move your pet to a cooler environment. Indoors is best but even a shady sidewalk or grassy area can help.

• Place pet in a tub or wading pool (But not in ice water). Think “from the paws up,” if using a hose to wet his skin, belly, arm pits, groin and paws first. Water sprayed on the back may just skim off the fur and not cool the skin.

• Also keep in mind that on hot days water coming out of a hose can initially be very hot. Take care to let water run till cool before spraying on your precious pet.

• You can also cover animal with wet towels and use a cold pack around neck (30 seconds on one side and then 30 seconds on the other). Never use ice water!

• Offer small amounts of water or an electrolyte replenisher like Pedialyte or K9 Quencher, but don’t force your pet to drink and do not let him “tank up” when he is over heated. You risk the possibility of him vomiting the water and aspirating into his lungs. Fluids may need to be given intravenously at the Vet.

• Check temperature under the tail every 5 minutes and stop cooling process at 103° F.

• Get to Vet or Emergency Center ASAP if temperature is above 103̊F. Be prepared to treat for Shock and administer Rescue Breathing & CPR.

Please be sure and review the surprising facts about how fast a car heats up, and share them far and wide- you might just save an innocent critter from the painful and often irreversible damage caused by exposure to extreme heat.

As always, a big thanks to Denise for her guidance. Enjoy the pleasures of summer and be sure to keep your furry little loved ones cool, comfortable and safe as the mercury rises!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

P.S. Visit Denise on Facebook for life saving tips, information on pet CPR classes in your area and other great resources. It's safe to say our fur kids would 'like' her page so be sure and give her a 'paws up' on their behalf!

Comments (7)

  • Good Morning Dr. Pia

    The heat and humidity has been horrible this summer in New Jersey. I showed your last picture to the Lab's - can you believe we have 3 big Lab's and an inground pool and they won't swim!!

    I insist on being outside with mom so she makes sure there is plenty of water in the shade, she uses a spray bottle to mist me with and when she wants to really cool me down she carries me into the pool. I'm not fond of swimming but it does feel good. I also have a beach chair with an umbrella. Well it wasn't purchased for me but for the grandkid but I've claimed the pink chair ;)

    T-Bone loves to lay on top the Hostas to keep cool, Precious and Sophie would just rather be in the air conditioning.

    Looks like rain today so I'll be inside relaxing. Have a good day!

    Zoe

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. What good information you have today. In the springtime and fall, I travel with Mommy and Daddy. When it’s below 80 degrees and Daddy can park in the shade, I get to go along and sit in the truck while they are out and about. They leave the windows down for me a little so I can get the cool air. When it’s above 80, I have to stay inside the trailer with the AC on. In the springtime and fall, it’s usually a warm day if it reaches 60 degrees in those mountains. Here in Augusta, Georgia, the police can break a car window if a pet is inside and the owner cannot be located nearby. People have learned to leave their pets at home.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hello Dr. Pia and all you Glue Squad peeps,
    Thank you Franny and the rest of you for checking on me.
    Ahhhh, you do care. That is nice. I couldn't get the computer to work. It was dead.
    I tried several times during the day nothing.
    Then Karen looked at it last night. Guess what? The darn plug got pulled out somehow. Geez. What the heck, something as simple as that but I am a dog. Dogs don't usually use a computer. But we are special. Glue Squad members have different talents than other people and animals. And even though I can use the computer, that doesn't mean I know anything about it. I leave that to the two legged ones. So, I am back on line. Waa Huu. I was about ready to rent a computer but I spent all my allowance on new toys. Hehehehehehe
    As for the blog today, it is very important for us to stay cool in this heat. Misting from a spray water bottle is good. They also make special pads called cool pads that stay a nice cool temp that you can lay on. When I went to shows in the summer they had portable fans that ran on batteties that they set in front of me. I liked that.
    So, stay cool everyone and I will check back later.
    Love all of you,
    Maddox

  • GREAT advise Dr. Pia!!!! :-)

    I have always had the fear of something like this happening. The other day it was 93+ and I saw a dog in the back seat of a car parked in the sun with the windows just cracked, I was livid, I mean livid... :-( I went into the store and had it announced over the loudspeaker that if they did not get the dog out of the car I would call the police....it worked!

    Our Kitty likes to be out in the yard when it's hot but we have a shade yard and she can come in and cool off on the floor and A/C house, she found a new spot she likes under some Hosta's, you can't even see her I saw movement when I called for her...so funny! (just like Zoe using the Hosta's)

    Thanks Dr. Pia and Denise for sharing all this great lifesaving advice. :-)

    I had to post today for yesterday's post, I hate missing a day.

    delia & Kitty =^. .^=

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thank you so much for sharing this extremely important information about how to protect all animals in HOT, HOT weather! I wish everyone would be very careful and not take animals in cars in hot weather, ever! We are very lucky where we live because it doesn't get extremely hot and I take special care of sweet, little DDR to protect him when it gets up to 90 degree here very rarely! I love the photos you shared-terrific! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and hug Minnow for DDR! Maddox, so glad you are back today! We were getting worried, also! Have a great day all of you buddies! Love, Jan and DDR

  • ..thanks Dr.Pia for the tips and photos..#23 looked just like my buddy, the red heeler, Rototiller, who lives in Nevada..luckily it does not usually get really hot here in my section of S.w. Washington..but when it does Lucinda goes nuts on me!..All you fellow doggateers have a good day..wish you all could come and sit around my kiddie pool and cool off and then walk to the river and have a picnic and lounge around with me.., love, Cora-Bell..p.s. that includes all my people friends, too!

  • Hello Dr.Pia and my glue squad buddies,
    Thanks for the important heat care information which is timely with our humid,hot weather here in New York. Mom said picture #15 cannot be Zoe in scuba gear even though she likes to go swimming. We were thinking Cora Belle would like the big water tubs in picture #23. Looked like my favorite was the comfy cot though.
    Maddox, welcome back Great Leader!!! Kitty must be hiding under the hostas today. Dudley, are you napping in a.c. like our buddy Kirby Bear?? Might go back to the dog park today.. will look for another beagle boyfriend.
    Lynn, hope you are having fun relaxing after all the Christmas craft work. Many MANY boarders rolling into work for the weekend so today is RELAX day. We have a nice looking buck dad who actually plays with two baby fawns at dusk when the doe brings them around. They play pounce games!
    High Paws to Missy Chow,Rebel and my glue squad olympic team members- Abby

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