WagsmoreDaycamp

A window into Wagsmore Dogcamp's world of dogs

Time for summer fun!

on May 8, 2013

Well, it’s finally happened….we have had an official taste of summer in Sherwood Park/Edmonton.  With the warmer weather, it’s very important for us to be mindful of how the heat can affect our dogs.  Dogs don’t  use sweating like humans do to control their body temperature, although they do sweat through the pads of their feet.  Their main method of cooling down is by panting.  Here are a few useful tips to keep your pup happy, safe, and cool during this summer heat!

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Did you know white short haired dogs can sunburn easier than darker colored dogs? Be careful how much exposure your dog is getting to direct sun.

Of course everybody knows that keeping dogs in a non-running vehicle in the summer is bad news.  But do you know just how warm it needs to be to become dangerous for your dog?

table

Top table compliments of Google, Celsius conversions on the table below

Heat stroke can be very dangerous for a dog, and can escalate quickly.  The brain will begin to swell, causing seizures, and possibly death.  This can happen very quickly in a car, EVEN WITH THE WINDOWS ROLLED DOWN!! Even when the weather isn’t overly hot, the temperature inside the car can quickly escalate to dangerous levels for your dog.

Heat stroke doesn’t just happen from dogs in hot cars. Strenuous exercise in hot weather or not having access to shade while out in the yard can also increase the chance of heat stroke.  Dogs with shorter snouts (known as brachycephalic) such as bulldogs, shih tzus, pugs, boxers, etc, older dogs, dogs with prexisting medical conditions such as obesity can also have an increased risk.  Some things to look for if you suspect your dog has heatstroke include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Dark red tongue and gums
  • Weakness and staggering, lethargy
  • Frothing or heavy salivation
  • Glazed eyes, a lack of focus
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Lack of coordination, uncontrolled muscle tremors
  • Difficulty breathing

If you suspect your dog has heat stroke, some things you can do to help treat it would be to immediately move him to a cooler area.  Give small amounts of water to help rehydrate him (too much water at once can cause vomiting, which can further dehydration), and put towels soaked in slightly cool water over him.  Do NOT hose down or pour cold water on a dog with heatstroke, as this can send them into shock.  They should be transported to a veterinarian immediately.

On days that you know are going to be warm, take your walks early in the morning when it’s still cool, or later in the evening.  Be sure to bring a water bottle with you as well.  As with humans, it’s important that dog’s stay hydrated in the hot weather.  Keep in mind that the sidewalks can become very hot as well, and can be painful for dogs to walk on.

Swimming pools are a great way to have fun and keep your dog nice and cool.  Small kiddie pools can offer the opportunity for games and great stimulation for you and your dog.  Playing fetch with floating balls, doing basic commands in the pool, or put a few beef flavored ice cubes in for him to fish out of the water.  Many dogs enjoy playing with the water coming out of the hose, as well, or try setting up a sprinkler and see what he thinks of that!

Ice cubes and frozen treats are also a fun way to help keep your dog cool.  You can throw some Blue Buffalo Stix and a variety of treats into a container, add some beef or chicken flavored water, then freeze it. Your dog will have fun trying to get the treats from the block of ice, and enjoy the nice cold treat.  (It’s also a god time to slide it across the floor!), you can also use Kongs, Busy Buddies, or any stuffable toys.

We hope all of our clients and readers have a wonderful and safe summer with their dogs!  Always be mindful of the temperatures outside, and plan your activities with your dogs accordingly!

Also just a reminder that we have a photo contest on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WagsmoreDogDaycamp).  Submit a picture of your dog enjoying spring on our wall, and you could win a free day of daycare and nail trim from Wagsmore Grooming!  The picture with the most likes will take the prize, so make sure you share the picture after you post it!  Good luck and we look forward to seeing pictures!

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One response to “Time for summer fun!

  1. Marcela says:

    Excellent information:)

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