Pet Safety: Don’t Bar-B-Q the Dog
Our pets – particularly dogs – do not tolerate the high temperatures of late Summer and early Fall as well as humans. They depend upon rapid breathing to cool down. But when the air temperature is close to their body temperature, heat stroke is a real possibility and an emergency that requires immediate recognition & prompt treatment.
Common situations that lead to overheating or heat stroke in dogs include being confined in concrete runs or chained outside without shade. But the biggest threat to dogs is being confined in your car.
Heat stroke begins with rapid, frantic, noisy breathing. Your dog’s tongue and mucus membranes become bright red, their saliva will become thick, and your dog will likely start to vomit. If your dog’s condition worsens, it will become unsteady, starting to stagger, and will have diarrhea that often is bloody – further weakening your dog and which may result in death.
Treatment: Emergency measures must begin at once. For mild cases of stroke, move your dog to a cooler area, such as an air-conditioned building or car. If your dog's temperature is over 104 degrees, or if it’s unsteady on its feet, soak your dog in a tub of cool water. If this is not possible, hose down your dog with a garden hose. If your dog is collapsing, you can give it a cold water enema; but it may be better to rush your dog to the vet – after a cold shower from the garden hose – as a n examination and a cortisone shot may be required to treat your little buddy.
1. Do not expose dogs, particularly those with already impaired breathing, to prolonged heat.
2. Restrict your dog’s exercise during the heat of the day.
3. Crate your dog only in an open-air wire cage.
4. Provide shade & cool water to dogs living outdoors.
5. Do not leave your dog in the car on hot days! Your dog won’t like your leaving it behind at home, but it will
live to chase another rabbit!