Archives for Aug. 1, 2013

Preventing and Treating Canine Heat Stress

Preventing and Treating Canine Heat Stress

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, said Benjamin Franklin. While the founding father might have been talking about most things in human life, his advice also applies to canines.

During these hot summer days, commonsense prevention can help keep your dog safe. Dogs don’t do well in the heat; even seemingly mild days in the 70s and low 80s can take their toll quickly. Humidity compounds the heat and makes it harder for your dog to cool down. If your dog is out of shape, exercising in heat takes an even greater toll.

If you’re training your dog for competition – whether that’s field trials or hunt tests, obedience, agility or flyball – it’s best to practice early in the morning when the ground and air temps are at the coolest. Other commonsense precautions to take include: ample breaks in the action, plenty of cool water to drink and swim in between drills, as well as resting in the shade.

If you take the time and provide your dog with the chance to cool down, you should be fine. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when watching your dog ...

How Hot Does it Get in a Parked Car?

How Hot Does it Get in a Parked Car?

It’s August and the heat index is soaring throughout the country. While modern conveniences can keep us cool, our canine companions suffer through these “dog days of summer” in much less comfort.

When the heat first hit earlier this summer, I was having a conversation with an officer from the local humane shelter. While we talked, call after call came across her radio of reports about dogs being left in cars. The outside temperature was pushing 100 degrees.

“When the warm weather starts, that’s what most of our calls are for – responding to dogs left in parked cars,” she said.

It’s astounding to me that someone would leave their dog in a car – even for “just a minute” – when the temperature is pushing 100 degrees, but apparently way too many people do. This tragic story out of North Carolina illustrates just how horrible death by heat stroke is, and that even people knowledgeable about dogs can make bad decisions. It’s also a perfect example of just how sensitive dogs are when it comes to heat – temperatures that day were in the mid- to high-70s with thunderstorms in the area.

Sadly, just eight days prior to ...