Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's Important to Cool Down an Old Dog on a Hot Day!

In the midwest we are heading into a week of 90+ temperatures and even higher heat indexes. People are in danger of heat exhaustion or heat stroke but dog owners have to consider their pet too. Many think the best way to help cool down a dog quickly on a hot summer day is to pour cold water on them but it is bad idea. An extremely hot dog can go into shock if suddenly doused with water so what should you do?

Senior dogs are even more susceptible to heat stroke in the extreme heat. Our older canine friends often have many health issues. Becoming overheated can have deadly consequences with the additional stress on their bodies and heart.

Know the SIGNS of Dog Dehydration
  • Heavy panting
  • Labored breathing
  • Vomiting 
  • Out of the ordinary behavior
  • Drooping mouth or lips
  • Lack of energy
  • Won't eat or drink

The best way to keep a dog cool in hot weather is to prevent overheating in the first place. Don't take your senior dog with on errands when the temperatures are extremely hot. If they cannot go into the stores or other places on your route, show them more love by leaving them home. A car with all of its windows rolled up can be incredibly hot on when parked in the sun. If your dog's temperature gets up to 110 degrees, there is little that can be done to cool them. Even a dog that loves riding in the car will prefer to remain in the air conditioning at home.

Other quick tips to keep your canine cool:
  1. Let outdoor dogs in--Let them cool off on the basement or garage cement floor.
  2. Invest in a cooling bed designed to keep a hot dog cool.
  3. Kiddie splash pools are perfect pet ponds
  4. Walk them early in the day or later at night 
  5. Grass is more paw-friendly than concrete or asphalt
  6. Dogs with dark fur will heat up faster than those with lighter fur in the sunshine.
  7. Sunscreen is available for pets with short hair or light colored fur (yes dogs can sunburn).
  8. Check with groomer before shaving. Not all breeds should have short cropped hair

Copyright 2012

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