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Summer pet dangers in Arizona

Summer pet dangers in Arizona 

1. Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke in Dogs

Fact: Dogs do not sweat. Their only means to cooling off is by panting.

If panting does not reduce the body temperature the pet will develop Heat Stroke. The longer hair coat your dog has the more heat it holds. You can clip your dog's hair coat short but not too short as they can also get sun burn and it acts as an insulator.

The color of your dogs coat also has an impact on his ability to reflect the sun's rays. Black dogs of course absorb more of the sun's rays than lighter colored coats.

What triggers Heat Exhaustion?

· age and condition of pet (overweight, geriatric) 

· breed

· hair coat

· climate and duration of being kept outside in hot weather

Senior pets, dogs under 3 years and the short muzzled dogs are among the highest at risk.
Short muzzled dogs include the Boxer, the Boston terrier, Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Pekingese, Shihtzus,
Lhasas, Pugs, and others.

If you own a short muzzled dog they should remain indoor pets in the heat. Heat Exhaustion can happen while you are out on a walk or in your own backyard. Short muzzled dogs do not have long enough air passages which can makes it difficult to breathe well. If overheated they can start to panic causing even more breathing difficulty.

Playful Puppies and adults dogs run around their backyards until they are tired and often don’t realize their bodies are already overheating. If they run around until they are overheated they may not make it back to the house for you to notice there is something not right with them.

The pads on your dogs feet can burn just like our feet

"If the sidewalk is too hot for your feet 
then it's too hot for your pets feet.“

If you need to exercise your dog it is best to do it in the early am hours before the sun becomes hot or the later evenings when the sun is going down. 

Dog’s do NOT like running alongside your bike in 110 degree weather. Please don't run your dog in weather that is over 80 degrees.

What are the first signs of Heat Exhaustion?
  • Excessive Panting
  • Rapid Breathing
  • The skin on the inside of the ears becomes flushed and red. 
  • Bright red Mucous Membranes
  • Noticeable agitation and distress
Heat Exhaustion can quickly turn into Heat Stroke as indicated by the following:
  • Weakness 
  • Staggering
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Fainting and/or loss of consciousness 
If you’re pet shows signs of heat exhaustion you will need to to cool him down with cool water not cold water. Too cold of water could cause your pet to go into shock. 
You can apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to your dogs head. Frozen vegetables in their bags are also an option if you do not have an ice pack. 

Place cool, wet towels over him and transport your pet to the nearest Veterinary Hospital ASAP.  Your pet might look okay in a few minutes but could've also suffered internal injuries that you cannot see. Your veterinarian will be able to best determine your pet's well being following heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

It is important to limit your dog's time outside in the summer regardless of which state you live in. 

Hot is hot. 

Make sure your pet is supervised and not forgotten.  Be sure to provide shade and have a constant water supply available. Before you leave your house do a head count of all animals. It is easy to get sidetracked and forget a pet outside in today’s busy world.

Some dogs like to ride in cars but don't leave your dog in a parked car in the Arizona heat. If you do you can now be charged with Animal Cruelty. The inside temperature of a parked car can reach 105 degrees in less than 15 minutes.


Courtesey of Shari Harris

Arizona has water sources everywhere. If you adopt a new dog or puppy; even during the winter months, it is important to familiarize them with pool safety immediately. Dogs need to know where the steps are and how to get out of your pool. 

Shared by Kim MacCrone

Your senior pet should never be outside without supervision in case he trips or falls into the pool. This includes blind dogs as well. 
Cats are susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke too. They can easily sneak into a closing garage door and if you don't come home until hours later it may be too late. Enclosed garages can reach 120 degrees during our hottest days. 

Keep your pets safe during our summer months by adhering to some simple but important rules. 

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