Just because Labor Day is right around the corner, don’t stop being vigilant when it comes to keeping your dogs safe in the summer months. Here’s how to recognize and neutralize two potential dangers that your pet could face in summer:
Prevent Deadly Heat Stroke
Summer sun and temps won’t go away just because the calendar says September, especially in California and parts of the South and Southwest. With the glow of the sun comes high temperatures, and that intense heat can pose a danger to your pets, who can easily become overheated. Overheating could lead to heat stroke, which could be deadly to your pet. Here are some tips from the Central Oregon Veterinary Group on how to prevent heat stroke in dogs:
- Your dog can’t fill his own water bowl. Make sure he or she has an adequate supply.
- Never chain your pet in a spot where shade is not (or will not be) available.
- Never leave your pet inside the car while you leave for “just a minute.”
- Take your pet for walks during the cooler parts of the day.
- Head for the river! A dip in the stream will feel good for both of you.
Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, pale gums, thick drool, and vomiting. Heat stroke is a serious condition and needs immediate attention, so if your dog is showing signs of any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away. In the meantime, provide your dog with cool (not cold!) drinking water and use a cool damp towel over his or her fur and belly to help draw out some of the body heat.
Prevent Swimming Pool Drownings
Among Americans’ favorite summertime activities is floating down a local river on inner tubes and rafts. Swimming, of course, is popular too. Many locals also retreat to their own backyard swimming pools, which is a convenience and a great source of entertainment, but also poses a potential hazard for dogs. If your dog jumps or falls into a pool of water, it may be difficult for him or her to get back out. Most dogs can tread water for a few hours, but once exhaustion sets in, they could drown. Dogs can be trained to get out of a pool on their own, but don’t count on yours knowing how to instinctively.
Ask your pool installer or vet about safety measures to prevent pet drownings. Visit PoolProducts.com and review the variety of safety products available. There are “skamper ramps” and dog safety life jackets available for purchase. Make your pool pet-friendly and rest with the peace of mind that your backyard is safe for your family and pets.
Be Wise, Have Fun and Keep Your Pet Safe
Don’t let concerns about heat stroke and drowning prevent you from having fun in the sun with your pets and loved ones. By taking simple preventative measures and keeping a close watch on the health and location of your pet, there are only good times ahead.