Now that we are passing the Memorial Day weekend, summer is at the door, and in many cases people and pets are already experiencing 80 – 90 degree temperatures. Susie wants everyone to be aware of the dangers inherent in warm weather for her and her animal friends.
Humans tend to forget that our pets have a different cooling mechanism than us. As a result, the more body mass an animal has the greater need to dissipate the heat. Many pet owners like to spoil their animal companions with too much food and treats. This is extremely harmful to our canine and feline friends in particular, but is extra important during hot weather. A few extra pounds can mean the difference between health and heatstroke.
Now is a good time to check your companion’s weight and start a program to take off excess pounds. Susie gained six pounds over the winter, because of less activity and fewer visits to the dog park where she can run and get good exercise. She has already lost 2.5 pounds simply by cutting back on her dry food feedings and replacing half of her evening meal with canned cut green beans. This gives her the bulk without the calories. Also now she is able to visit the dog park and enjoy her favorite pass time – herding the other dogs.
The photo also illustrates one of the ways that Susie keeps cool – the dog park bucket dive!! She also likes to jump into a larger tub or a small pool to cool off her hot paws. Which brings up an important factor – keep your pet hydrated with plenty of available fresh water.
My rule of thumb is that if the temperature is above 95 F (35 C) I don’t take Susie out into the heat except possibly for a very short time period. Another thing to remember in regard to the heat is that leaving an animal in a parked car when the temperature is above 90 F (32 C) is a big NO NO! It only takes 20 minutes for the temperature in the car to reach 125 F (52 C). Even in moderate times of the year, be sure to leave the windows cracked or partially opened, and limit the time you are away from the vehicle. In travelling a quick bathroom pit stop should not be a problem, even if travelling alone. If two or more are in the car, leave someone in the vehicle with the air conditioner (or heater) running. For meals – find pet friendly restaurants or use the drive through.
Finally – summer is the high point of the year for fleas, ticks and mosquitos. Be sure your companion is protected against fleas and ticks with a good quality product and also that they are on heartworm preventative which also covers most other worm parasites. Susie is on both year round!
Share your ideas about hot weather issues on the Boomer Travel Patrol Blog.
May 27, 2013