KEEPING YOUR HOT DOGS COOL
Summer is upon us and with it will come triple digit temperatures. We’ll all be doing our best to stay cool, and so will our family pets. But, they will definitely need our help. When those temperatures soar, your dog will need shade, fresh cool drinking water, and a shallow wading pool.
Walks are best taken in early morning and evenings. Dogs are most comfortable walking on cool grassy ground. Walking your pet on sidewalks, parking lots or gravel can severely burn the pads of your dog’s feet. Those temperatures easily reach 140°. My blood absolutely boils when I see a dog being taken for a walk on hot pavement, while their owners are wearing shoes to protect their own feet from being scorched. When you see a dog prancing along, it’s not because they’re enjoying the walk. It’s because their feet are frying! I have no problem asking dog owners to slip off their shoes and walk barefoot with their pet to experience what that ground really feels like. This is animal abuse. Speak up!
The back of a pickup may seem like a “cool” place for your buddy to ride, but the bed of that pickup can reach 130°. Your pet deserves to ride in the cab with you, in air conditioning. More preferably, he should be left at home where it’s cool.
Of course, your pet wants to go everywhere with you, but in the summer heat a quick trip to the store could become a deadly ride. Left in the car for just a “few” minutes, temperatures can quickly rise to become a 120° oven, even with the windows slightly open. It could take only an unexpected distraction or a quick chat with a friend for your dog to bake!
Vets treat many cases of heat stroke during the hot summer months, due to dogs being left in autos. Symptoms are rapid frantic breathing, a bright red tongue, slobbering, staggering, and vomiting. Kidney, liver and brain damage, coma, and death could follow if left untreated. If you find a dog suffering from these symptoms, remove them from the heat and start cool down measures. Start by applying water to head, neck and between the legs. Use a fan and wet towels when possible. Of course, transport to a vet ASAP. Puppies, senior dogs, all short nosed breeds and especially overweight dogs have less tolerance to extreme heat.
It is against the law to leave a dog in an unattended auto in the heat. Penal Code 597.7. If you find a dog in an auto or bed of a pickup in distress, call Shasta County Animal Control at 245-6065, Anderson Animal Control at 245-6526, City of Shasta Lake Animal Control at 275-7480, or Tehama County Animal Control at 527-3439. Log these numbers in your cell phone now! A new bill will soon be passed in California, allowing Californians to smash a car window to save an animal’s life without facing civil lawsuit. Meanwhile, I will continue to carry my trusty hammer at all times!
Please, whenever possible, leave your dog at home where he will be safe, cool and sheltered from the sweltering summer heat. Have a cool summer.
Questions? Comments? Call Chic Miller.
Chic Miller 530-347-0544
Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary
4301 Lower Gas Point Road Cottonwood, CA 96022