Dogs don’t do well in heat!

We humans have a tremendous advantage when trying to stay cool. We’re covered in these marvelous sweat glands, especially my uncle Olaf, and we do not have permanent fur coats attached to our bodies. (Except for my uncle Olaf.)

Dogs however, have very few sweat glands and these are mostly in their pads.

Dogs must cool themselves by panting, and as the ambient air temperature rises, the panting can become less effective.  Many dogs are genetically challenged with thick fur coats designed for keeping them warm in the coldest of temperatures.

Years ago, one of my favorite clients came running in the door. Her dog was collapsed in the back seat of her car, already dead. As we unsuccessfully tried to revive the dog, we noticed that she was very hot. The rectal temperature was higher than our thermometer would read. The cause of death?  Irresponsible breeding had lead to this dog having a flat nose and restricted airway. As the dog went on her walk that day, she simply couldn’t cool herself effectively.

I have heard controversy around whether a longhaired dog should get his coat shaved shorter in the summer months. My experience has repeatedly shown that when Rover is given a bath and groomed to have a short coat, he seems happier and is more comfortable on hot days!

I’m reminded of an old Jay Leno joke.

Some brilliant zookeepers could not understand why a polar bear appeared to be depressed, so they proceeded to hire a “polar bear psychologist” to find out why this poor creature was so “unhappy” – in a zoo… in Florida…  in JULY!

So here it is again:

  • · Hot cars kill. A hot car may kill a dog faster than it will harm a human.
  • · Hot pavement hurts! Black pavement is the hottest of all. If it is too hot for you to walk in your bare feet, it’s too hot for Barney.
  • · Pets must have water to stay cool! And make it fresh, please.
  • · Enjoy going out with your dog in the morning or evening, not during the heat of day.

What to do if your dog overheats. (Hyperthermia):

  • · Cool him down fast! Use water.
  • · If he is conscious, offer him water to drink.
  • · Get medical attention fast! But keep cooling while doing this.
  • · Do not over-cool.

Tip:

Avoid this vaccine!

Adjuvanted Leukemia and Rabies vaccines for Cats – The adjuvant is the “carrier” of the vaccine and can cause an inflammatory reaction at the injection site that sometimes becomes cancerous. If it does become cancerous, it is fatal unless you amputate the leg in time. The only non-adjuvanted Rabies and Leukemia vaccine for cats on the market today is Merial’s  Purevax.