Good Friday morning-heat
I'm sitting here answering emails before I start my blog when I hear a weird noise. One of those "what is that?" noises. I stop typing and listen trying to locate where the noise is coming from. It's Tilley, she's snoring. :)
Ah; love Fridays, after a week of being sick, I'm extremely sick and tired of coughing. I'm spent. The weather has been horrible; so hot that you can't make it out early enough to beat the heat. Here in Southern California the worst time for really hot weather is September...................it's not suppose to be July. Apparently the temps are suppose to be coming down by next week so with that and the fact that by then I will have passed this wonderful cold onto someone else, we should be good and back on track.
Speaking of heat; it is just getting hotter as the summer progresses, that is everywhere, hot just here. And it is every year that we hear of dogs becoming ill or dying in the heat. I don't know how many times I've written articles about the heat; and I know I've read even more but people still do stupid things with their dogs in the heat. Of course the car is the first issue; leave your dog at home in the summer. This is simply a good rule to follow. There are all sorts of temperatures thrown around that if reached dogs should not be in the car at; but just leave them at home where they are nice and safe.
What about walking? This is the one that makes me really crazy because so many people do it. It is 95 degrees out and at 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon guardians grab their dog and say "great day for a run." Now if our dogs could talk they would probably say something like "you are joking right?" "I'm not going out in this heat." And they would be right to baulk about jogging in extremely high temperatures. If you want to run in the heat; hey go for it but think twice before dragging your dog along. Dogs are much closer to the ground than we are; and there is a good chance you are running on pavement or concrete where the temps really sore.
My advice about running or walking for that matter is to take off your shoe and step on the surface where you are expecting your dog to join you. Can you easily leave your foot there for a solid 30 seconds without cringing? Even if the surface is just hot and not scorching hot; it radiates heat upwards making the temperature much hotter where your dog is located, especially the shorties.
Humans sweat to cool their body; dogs cool themselves by panting but it is not nearly as efficient as our sweating. It is imperative that you recognize your dogs regular panting versus frantic panting. Heat stroke can happen quickly in a dog; if a dog is unable to cool their body as fast as it is heating up, you can be in big trouble. Normal body temperature for a dog is between 100 and 102.5; going beyond this and rising needs immediate attention.
Heat stroke survival guide
Dogs that participate in performance activities in the summer are definitely more apt to run into problems. You must take great precautions to keep them cool. Often our dogs make better choices than we do; opting to lay in the shade on a hot day instead of jogging. Being that we are suppose to be a smarter than our dogs; we should know to take the lead from them and just chill in the heat. Get out before it gets hot or after the sun goes down in the evening. Last night we took the gang out at 7:30; it was still warm and the heat was still radiating from the path at the park. We opted for the grass, cut the walk short and walked at a snail pace. Then we all enjoyed a movie in the AC once we got back home.
Enjoy the summer but take great care in the heat.