High temps dangerous for dogs

Friday, June 10, 2011

When the temperatures and high humidity levels soar during summer's hot weather, we are reminded that man's best friend can have serious trouble coping with the heat.

And those of you who take your pets along on vacation, do not leave them in a hot car while you dine, shop, or sight-see. How many times have you seen dogs suffering and yelping in a hot car with their owner nowhere to be found?

If a dog gets over heated, it could succumb to heatstroke with the possibility of not recovering. Symptoms can include increased heart rate, labored breathing, weakness, stumbling, and even seizures and coma.

If you suspect your dog is on the verge of heatstroke quickly cool him off with water from a garden hose, or cover him in wet towels. Then, get to the veterinarian as fast as you can. The earlier heatstroke is treated, the better chance for a full recovery.

In the meantime, dog owners, follow these pointers when the temperatures climb:

*Exercise your dog early in the morning, or during cooler, evening hours.

*Allow for rest and water breaks during play and exercise. Your dog may not know its own limits.

*Keep your dog indoors, ideally in air conditioning, on really hot days.

*Be sure dogs left outside have plenty of shade and access to a sprinkler, pool, or some other type of water source.

After all, the love and care you show your dog will be paid back tenfold! That's why they're called man's best friend.