‘HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME’ – A CAUTION

While I love Sly and the Family Stone’s take on kicking back in summer, for lots of people, it offers a chance to bike,  hike, swim, kayak, golf, ploy tennis, and to make good on that New Year’s vow to finally exercise and shed some pounds. 

If you’re still having trouble finding the motivation, walking your dog might be the answer. Weight-loss guru Bob Harper says an early morning, low-intenstiy stroll on an empty stomach can rev up your metabolism. It’s also great for bonding with your pooch and Bowser’s kidneys will really appreciate the relief. One caution though. While sunny skies might be great for lounging by the pool, summer temps and high humidity can lead to heatstroke in humans and their 4-legged trainers. Responsible dog guardians should learn how to recognize and avoid heatstroke. (from GIMME SHELTER – ‘Dogs & Heatstroke‘)
                                                                           ~ ~ ~ ~
 Dogs regulate their temperature chiefly through panting. Heatstroke occurs on hot, humid days when they can no longer maintain a normal body temperature of approximately 101 degrees F. It often occurs when a dog is left outside on a hot day in direct sunshine or confined in a car, kennel or crate. 
It can strike suddenly, and if your dog’s temperature rises to 105 F or above, you must act immediately. If not, his internal organs will begin to breakdown, and he may die. Even if you are able to lower his temperature, he may still suffer irreversible internal damage.

The symptoms of heatstroke includeRapid panting, Warm, dry skin, Pale gums and a bright red tongue, Anxious expression or disorientation (blank staring, an inability to respond to its name), Increased heart rate, thick, clinging saliva, vomiting, difficulty breathing, Collapse, coma and death follow shortly thereafter.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke: It’s urgent to quickly reduce the dog’s body temperature. To do this: Remove your dog from the car, kennel or wherever he was confined and get him to a place with cool, circulating air, like an air conditioned room. If possible, immerse him in a cool (not cold) bath, or hose him down. DO NOT leave wet towels on your dog and DO NOT use very cold water–both can prevent your dog from cooling himself. Ice packs may cause hypothermia.To promote blood flow, gently massage the skin and flex the legs. While you’re working to cool him, it’s essential that he be transported to a veterinary hospital as quickly as possible. Even if you manage to reduce your dog’s temperature, take him to the vet for a thorough exam, since serious internal damage to your dog’s organs might have taken place.

To prevent heatstroke: On hot, humid days, or days with strong sun, NEVER leave your dog in an unattended car. Keep your dog indoors during the heat of the day in a well-ventilated or air-conditioned room. If your dog must be outside, make sure he has cold water, shelter and shade. Since dogs really don’t know their limits, try and keep your dog’s activity to a minimum. If you must exercise your dog, do it in the early morning or evening when temperatures are generally cooler.

Dogs Prone to Heatstroke IncludeYoung puppies, older dogs, overweight dogs, sick dogs or dogs recovering from illness or surgery. Short-faced breeds, like Bulldogs, Shar Peis, Boston Terriers, and Pugs. Cold climate dogs like Malamutes, Huskies, Great Pyrenees, and Newfoundlands. Double-coated breeds such as Pomeranians, Samoyeds, Collies, Shelties, Akitas, and Chow Chows.


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