I heard about a dog recently who died after going on a 4 mile walk in Arizona, in the extreme heat. I try to walk my dog only in either the early mornings or late in the evening, but sometimes, a mid-day walk is all I can fit into my schedule. I know it’s terribly hot outside to me, but how does this heat affect my dog?
Sweating in Shepherd Park Plaza
I applaud your efforts to continue exercising your dog, even in hot weather. It’s tempting to get lax on dog walks when the weather is less than ideal, but by walking your dog daily, you’re giving him a great form or exercise for both his mind and his body.
Now, to answer your question: You’re wise to heed the temperature and think about how it will affect your pooch. Many folks don’t take their dog’s comfort into consideration when braving a hot day. Austin-based Pets Alive has put together a few tips for gauging your pet’s level of comfort when the weather is unbearably hot:
• Dogs are 10x more likely to suffer from heat exhaustion than people so if you are super hot, your dog is hotter
• Dogs can only sweat through their mouth, feet, and ears which means they can’t dissipate heat like you, who can sweat all over (If overheated, get them wet to speed the cooling process)
• Dogs need shade and water as much as possible
• If a dog looks hot, react by decreasing their activity and get them to a cooler spot
• Asphalt is HOT so try walking dogs on grass instead
• Cats can overheat too. They demonstrate being overheated by panting.
• DO NOT LEAVE ANY PETS IN CARS FOR ANY AMOUNT OF TIME UNLESS A/C IS ON (dogs will overheat in minutes)
Did you know that your pooch lagging behind on a walk is about the most important indicator that your dog is too hot on a walk? If you see this happening, seek shade, water and slow down. Just a few more months of oppressively hot dog walks and then we’ll be back to picture-perfect weather–which both you and your dog will appreciate.
Did you know?
Friends For Life is celebrating their 15th birthday on Saturday, June 24 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the shelter, located at: 107 E. 22nd St. in The Heights. Partygoers will get to see the unveiling of the first phase in an ongoing art installation by Houston muralist Anat Ronen. It will be a very special treat. Stop by, pet an adoptable cutie and help celebrate 15 years of noble work in Houston’s journey to No-Kill.
Do you have a question for Tabby? If so, email her at dear firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet of the Week
Meet Joni. This 2 year old Basset Hound/Pit-mix would make the perfect addition to just the right family. You see, Joni has some separation anxiety, so she would prefer to have another dog to hang out with. She also gets a little weird with crates and fences, so an understanding owner would need to work with her on that. Otherwise, Joni is a dream to live with. Playful, sweet and great with kids–could she be yours soon? Contact K-9 Angels at: www.K-9AngelsRescue.org or www.facebook.com/k9angelsrescue.