Summer has arrived and depending upon where you live it can get very, very hot. Many of you probably don't realize that your dog can overheat and suffer heatstroke.
While we humans can't wait for summer and all the fun it brings, as far as your four legged friend with the wiggly tail is concerned, summer time means hot weather, long runs, hot cars, and long, anxious stays in kennels while you are away on vacation. Frankly, dogs are not designed to take the heat.
Don't Let Your Dog Get Overheated!
So, you need to be a responsible pet owner when it comes to heat and your dog. All it takes is a little thought, some common sense and knowledge of your pet's needs.
Dogs cool off by panting because they can't sweat. So, you can understand how dogs rapidly overheat on summer days. Overheated dogs drool and begin to look uncomfortable. If they can't cool down, they could suffer from a heat stroke. If it reaches this point, the dog is subject to organ failure and even death.
Help prevent heat stroke by making sure your pet stays cool. Provide shelter from the sun's heat by keeping your pet inside in the air conditioning. Or dress him with a Coool Dog coat, which works like an air conditioning system on its own. Anyway have plenty of fresh cool water in reach.
Never ever leave your dog in a parked car. Parked cars, even when parked in the shade with partially opened windows, can become a furnace in minutes. Vehicle interiors can rapidly heat up to over 25°C above the outside temperature. For instance, on an 27°C day, the inside of your car can easily reach 50°C. No pet can survive that heat.
Don't leave your dog tied under a tree. The tree's shade will rapidly disappear as the sun moves across the sky.
Dogs should have access to cold, fresh water at all times. A dog on a hike or walk needs rest and should be given water every 15 minutes. Dogs will literally run with you until they drop from heatstroke. They do not have the common sense to stop when they are overheated and you may not notice until it's too late. So you need to monitor your dog.
Also limit your dog's play during the hottest periods of day. Allow only responsible children to play with the dog during high heat periods. Some children may not notice when the dog is overheating.
Heatstroke is easier to prevent than treat. Watch for the signs. If you see your dog panting excessively, drooling, acting fatigued, anxious or wobbly, he may be overheating. As your dog gets warmer, signs of an impending heatstroke may occur. Symptoms include a rapid heart rate. Nose, legs, and ears that are hot to the touch, diarrhea, and a swollen tongue. If your pet shows any signs of overheating, immediately stop all exertion, offer cool water, and find a cool place to rest. If not treated immediately, an animal that is overheating can suffer from heatstroke. A dog with heatstroke can lapse into a coma and die. And, I don't think that you will ever forgive yourself if that should happen.
Heatstroke is considered an emergency that must be treated immediately. Stop whatever you are doing and move the animal to a cool, shaded place. Offer tiny amounts of cold water if your dog is conscious and can swallow. Do not force your dog to drink and do not try to give water to an unconscious pet. Cover your dog's body with cool water and place ice packs around the body and head. Wrap the ice or ice packs in a towel so that the ice is not in direct contact with the body. Placing ice directly against an overheated dog could confuse the dog's internal thermostat and may actually delay cooling.
As soon as this initial treatment is completed, take your dog immediately to a veterinary hospital. Emergency care is necessary for recovery.
Be proactive and use common sense and prevent overheating and heatstroke from happening in the first place by keeping your dog cool, well rested, and with access to water. If you do this, you'll both have a great fun-filled summer.
Pssst.... did you know your dog gets just as cold as you do? Order a warm dog coat for the cold winter months asap, so your best friend does not have to shiver through the cold and rainy days. Even rain jackets are available!
Contact us for a price list and sizes available.
The 2016 catalog with new and exciting accessories for your dog will be available in due time, so watch this space!
If you cannot wait that long, send us an e-mail and we will personally inform you of all the new things your dog can look Coool in this winter!
Various KUSA events will be happening throughout the year. For more information go to www.kusa.co.za