Posted by Max Gottlieb on February 26, 2016
As the seasons change and we move further away from the cold of winter, the heat of our powerful Sun begins to shine through. Of course, sunny days are more than welcomed, giving us humans and animals alike the opportunity to soak up sufficient vitamin D, which is so important to our health. We must remember however, as with most good things, too much sunlight can indeed have a negative impact on our well-being.
Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat exhaustion and over-exposure can lead to a more serious condition called “heat stroke” if we as owners are not aware of the potential dangers. Typical early symptoms of heat stroke include red/inflamed tongue, pale/red gums, thick and sticky saliva from a loss of water content and excessive, continuous panting. Here are a few tips that will help you protect your dog and prevent heat exhaustion in the first place:
1). Limit exposure to surfaces like cement and asphalt that absorb and radiate heat. Go for a walk on grass or dirt instead, if this is unrealistic simply limit time of exposure.
2). Consider a trim, keeping your dog’s coat shorter when it’s hotter is wise – just remember to never shave to the skin, at least one inch of protection is necessary to prevent sunburn.
3). Always provide 24/7 access to quality water and shade – preferably NOT tap water, use filtered if possible. This is especially important for outside dogs.
4). Keep exercise to a minimum on especially hot days and only encourage physical activity in the morning before the heat intensifies or in the evening when temps are cooler.
5). Don’t take your dog with you to run errands – even with the windows cracking and parked in the shade, leaving your dog in the car for just a short period of time can be dangerous.