This post is a follow-up to my previous blog titled, “Too Hot For Spot In The Summertime.” With the arrival of hottest season of the year, and temps approaching 3-digits at times in Beaufort, SC where I live — heat is going to be an issue for our pets. So here is a list of some summer safety tips for our furry four-legged friends to help you get through those ‘dog days of summer’ . . . literally!
Prevention is Key
“Our pets are like family, and we want to ensure they are kept safe as they are exposed to changing conditions. Just as you should never leave your child alone in a hot car, the same goes for your pets, as temperatures can rise swiftly in a very short amount of time and turn deadly,” said Nicole Forsyth, President and CEO of RedRover. “Prevention is key, so remembering these quick and easy tips can make the summer more enjoyable for the whole family.”
Hot Cars are Deadly
Forsyth offered five reasons why leaving a dog in a hot car can be deadly:
- Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because their only means for cooling off is by panting through their mouths and evaporating through the pads in their feet.
- Even seemingly mild days are dangerous. In a Stanford University study, when it is 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature will climb to 116 degrees within one hour. When it is 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car will rise to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes.
- Dogs' normal body temperature ranges between 101 to 102.5 degrees. They can only withstand a high body temperature for a short period of time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.
- Studies also show that cracking the windows has little effect on a vehicle’s internal temperature.
Other conditions to prepare for . . .
While swimming pools can be a great means for cooling your dog off and preventing heat stroke, the chlorine can upset his or her stomach and can irritate their skin.
But if you are so inclined to take a dip with your pups, make sure they don’t drink more than a mouthful of water, and rinse them thoroughly with fresh water, after each swim. A kiddie pool filled with fresh, moderately cold water or a dip in the ocean or lake might be better options altogether.
Loud noises can be very threatening to your dogs. During the 4th of July, it's best to keep your pooch indoors throughout the firework ceremony. If you can’t, be sure to double-check your gate/fencing to ensure your won't have access to an escape when startled or spooked.
Also be aware that dogs don’t particularly like blimps. Whether dogs interpret them as predators or prey, it’s a known fact that they will bark at dirigibles flying over head during firework ceremonies, potentially scaring other viewers and their children.
That steak or hamburger that sticks to your barbecue grates after cooking can become way too tempting for your pets to resist. Taking a lick can cause serious burns to their tongue or mouth. Make sure to clean the grill thoroughly and close the lid, when cooking and/or left unattended. Also be aware that lighter fluid is a poison, and should be stored outside of your dog’s reach.
Help your pets stay safe this summer
Signs of heat stroke and exhaustion include excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, lethargy, stumbling, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, and coma. If you suspect your pet is suffering from any of these symptoms, seek out veterinary treatment as soon as possible.
While the summer months are filled with fun times for you and your furry friends — it's equally important to make their safety a priority. With the precautions discussed today, you’ll ensure your favorite canine will keep cool, calm and collective, all summer long!