Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Heat Precautions

  Summer is here! There are lots of fun activities for you and your dog to do in the summer, but be careful. Some dogs are very susceptible to heat stroke and can even get sunburned! Some signs of heat exhaustion are heavy panting, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, thick/sticky saliva, depression, weakness, confusion or inattention, vomiting or diarrhea - sometimes with blood. To help prevent heat stroke, make sure your dog has access to plenty of cool water and if it's really hot, try to get your dog into an air conditioned environment. If your dog seems to be suffering from heat exhaustion, try your best to cool him/her down with cool water and a fan. Ice packs can also be applied to places like the armpits or neck (pulse points with good blood flow). A dog suspected of suffering from heat stroke should be brought to their vet as soon as they're cooled down a bit to make sure he/she is not dehydrated and there are no further complications.

  As for sunburns, there are a number of dog sprays with added SPF. You can even use human sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater, but be sure that there is no PABA in the ingredients as it is harmful to dogs if ingested. If you have a light-colored, hairless or shaved dog, it is best to protect them with such a product. If your dog does get burned despite your best preventative efforts, you can give him/her a cool bath with an oatmeal product or baking soda mixed in to help soothe the skin. You can also apply Witchhazel and 100% Aloe Vera to the effected spots.

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