Dog E-Discounts has really knowledgable business partners like Tori Levitt, the Owner and Canine Concierge of Doolittle’s Doghouse. Tori has provided us with great tips to help your dog stay cool in the desert this summer! Enjoy and please share with other dog parents. – Jake at Dog E-Discounts
While we advocate for daily exercise for all dogs, it’s important to balance their exercise needs with prudence during the summer heat; especially for Arizonans. Public walkways and the gravel and rock in your own backyard, can heat up quickly so take a “paws” during hotter times of the day! Daily walks should occur during the early morning hours or after sunset. Always feel the ground before walking with your dog. If it’s too hot for your bare feet or hand to touch, it’s definitely too hot for your dog!
As an added precaution, consider applying Musher’s Secret (special wax for dog paws) in advance of your walks. In the event of a foot pad injury, rinse the pads under cool water, cleanse thoroughly and follow with a topical antibiotic, such as Vetericyn.
Flying insects are more active this time of year (bees, wasps, mosquitoes) along with those nasty fleas and ticks. Most insect bites are harmless; however, your dog could suffer an allergic reaction (evidenced by redness, swelling or hives). Keep an eye on your dog and swarming pests when outdoors. Year-round pet care with proper flea and tick treatment is the best bet.
SUMMER GROOMING & SUNSCREEN
Summer cuts are popular this time of year, although it is best to keep dog’s coats long, as their hair helps regulate body temperature. Keep the coat groomed and brushed regularly (if matted, go for the cut!). Good rule of paw: leave at least 1” of fur. It is also recommended that you apply dog-friendly SUNSCREEN like My Dog Nose It to exposed areas, such as the belly, ears and tip of the nose (Cover the entire body of hairless and thin-coated breeds).
WATCH FOR WARNING SIGNS
Your dog’s body temperature should be between 99-102 degrees. Dogs don’t have normal sweat glands (only in the pads of their feet) so they PANT to reduce their body temperature. Panting will NOT help if they are kept in an unventilated area in high temperatures. The best way to measure your dog’s body temperature is via a rectal thermometer.
If his body temperature is approaching 105 degrees, put him in a Luke-warm to cool bath (not freezing cold!) and call your Vet immediately. When the temperature drops to 103 or 104 degrees, take him out of the cool bath so his temperature won’t drop too quickly.
Heatstroke signs include: Increased heart rate; excessive panting, increased salivation, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, thick, sticky saliva, depression, weakness, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea.
KEEP THE A/C ON FOR ALL PETS IN YOUR HOME
If it feels warm to you, it is definitely warm for your dog! Don’t skimp on the AC! It is not worth reducing your utility bill at the risk of you or your dog’s health.
LOTS OF WATER/LESS FOOD
Dogs needs more water in the summer. Bacteria can grow quickly in warm, stagnant water so keep the bowl fresh & full! Know, too, that dogs eat less food in the summer months. Do not panic if you notice a slight decrease in food intake.
POOL SAFETY & FUN
If you haven’t already, teach your dog to swim. Some breeds are natural swimmers yet most aren’t. A professional trainer can help and may be worth the investment for both of you. Arizona Pool Dogs specialize in teaching dogs to swim. It is not only a great way to cool off in the summer, but also adds to the human-animal bond that is so important to your pet; so get wet together!
If your dog isn’t a swimmer, or you don’t have a pool, consider a small child’s play pool or a spray from the garden hose! (Run the hose first to make sure the water isn’t too hot for a cool down).
Other cool ideas include:
(1). Add a water-soaked bandana around your dog’s neck while walking
(2). Add ice cubes to the water bowl or serve individually
(3). Pupsicles (put chicken broth in ice cube trays and serve as a treat)
(4). Set up a fan in front of a bowl of ice for Fido “cool down” (under close supervision)
NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR
Best practice: leave your dog(s) at home and only drive to his groom or Vet appointments. It is ILLEGAL in 24 states to leave a dog in a car. The Arizona Humane Society recently announced a major break-through in a new Arizona law that aims to end hot-car deaths for kids and pets left in hot cars. Read the very cool news here.
“Governor Ducey has signed into law HB2494, a bill that aims to end hot-car deaths and allow Good Samaritans to take action without risk of civil liability if they rescue a child or a pet from a hot car”. APPLAWS PLEASE FOR THIS PAWESOME LEGISLATION!
HB2494 Provisions: A person who uses reasonable force to remove a child or domestic animal from a locked motor vehicle is not liable for damages in a civil action if they comply with the following conditions:
1. The rescuer has a good faith belief that the confined child or pet is in imminent danger of suffering physical injury or death unless they are removed from the vehicle.
2. The rescuer determines the car is locked or there is no reasonable manner in which the person can remove the child or pet.
3. Before entering the vehicle, the rescuer notifies the proper authorities (defined).
4. The rescuer does not use more force than is necessary under the circumstances to enter the vehicle.
5. The rescuer remains with the child or pet until the authorities arrive.
Be a hero to your dog this summer by applying the above practices. If you observe a dog or child trapped in a hot car, keep in mind the provisional protection of Arizona’s new law (HB2494) and do not hesitate to take action! The life you save will be well worth your effort.
Stay cool this summer! If you plan to travel without your dog, call us for cage-free boarding and cool comfort in our loving pet care.
P.S. The photo of the dog in sunglasses is Maks Higgins; our Morkie male model!
About the author:
Tori Levitt is the Owner and Canine Concierge of Doolittle’s Doghouse; a cage-free dog boarding service in Arizona. Founded in 2008 on the premise that dog’s deserve constant attention and companionship, without cages or kennels.