Giving the discerning dog owner the "upper paw" on the best products, nutrition and training tips.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Protecting Your Pup from Extreme Heat

We're Back!  It's been quite awhile since our last post.  These past few weeks have been immensely busy with travel, bustling work schedules, our little guy Joey being under the weather (thank you for all your thoughts and prayers!), and the exciting engagement of my sister, Amanda!

Did I mention she moved to California and The Upper Paw is now Chicago and LA based?!?! Very Exciting!!

With that said, we are back this week with important information and tips on protecting your dog from extreme heat.  August is in full swing and with Labor Day around the corner, sweltering temps are still in effect for many parts of the country.  Our goal this week is to educate you on risky conditions and provide you with information on how to prevent putting your pup in harm's way.

Photo Courtesy:  http://jumpingbulldog.wordpress.com

What defines dangerous conditions?  

Surprisingly, the danger zone is considered to be 70 degrees or above.  The level of risk depends also on what type of breed and the level of humidity.  If your dog is flat-faced (i.e. Pugs, Bulldogs) or designed for cold weather climates (i.e. Bernese Mountain Dog), they have a lower tolerance for heat and humidity compared to a Greyhound or Saluki who are built to withstand desert conditions.

Scenarios to Avoid:

High Humidity:  It is not enough to monitor the temperature, you must also be aware of the humidity.  Dogs are only able to sweat through their foot pads and cool themselves by panting.  Panting helps remove moisture from their lungs and helps to reduce the temperature of their body.  If there is too much moisture in the air, your dog may be unable to effectively cool himself.

Photo Courtesy:  PetMD.com

FYI:  Monitor your dog's temperature and do not let it go above 104 degrees, this could result in heat stroke.

Minimize Exercise on Hot Days:  It is important not to over exercise your dog on extremely hot days.  The stress of the heat on your dog's system produces a stress response that can be negatively compounded when coupled with rigorous exercise.  This may mean less exercise than a normal day, but can also inspire you to create fun ways to entertain and play indoors.  Our parents have a Standard Poodle, Boomer, who requires A LOT of exercise!  However, with summer temperatures in Texas reaching 110 degrees and up, they are careful to exercise him in the early morning hours and evening.

Stick to the Grass:  Your tootsies aren't the only ones to be sensitive walking around barefoot.  Your dog's paw pads can also be burned.  When out walking on extremely hot days, avoid asphalt, concrete, or any other potentially hot surface.  Try to walk your pet on the grass as much as possible.

Never Leave in a Parked Car:  This may seem so harmless to many, however, hundreds of pets die every year because of this mistake.  Even with the air conditioning turned on, it's not safe.  According to the The Humane Society of The United States, "on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows open slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes.  After 30 minutes the temperature will reach 120 degrees.  This can cause your dog to suffer irreversible organ damage or even die."

Photo Courtesy:  http://www.franklinlakesanimalhospital.com

FYI:  If you see a dog in a parked car, call the nearest animal shelter or police.  The Humane Society even has a "Hot Car Flyer" you can print out and distribute around your community.

We hope you found this post helpful.  Next time you consider partaking in the summer heat, ask yourself if it is appropriate to take your dog along or leave at home in the AC.  If you do decide to bring your pup, make sure to always be prepared with plenty of water and available shade.

Don't forget to check us out on Facebook for great products and tips for beating the heat!

Also, tune in next week when we share an exciting DIY treat to help with those hot days!

Love,

A & A

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