Sum­mer Bum­mers: Hid­den Dog Dan­gers

Hid­den dog dan­gers

Modern Dog - - NEWS -

Sum­mer, with its sun­shine, beach romps, and fresh emer­ald grass, seems a dog’s par­adise, but the sum­mer sea­son ac­tu­ally poses the most dan­gers to our pets. The big­gest cul­prit of them all is the sun, lead­ing to scorched paws, sun­burns, heat­stroke, and even loss of life. Ev­ery year, lives are lost due to ex­treme heat in cars. Heat can rise rapidly in cars—on a sunny day, tem­per­a­tures rise about 10°C (50°F) above the tem­per­a­ture out­side within 10 min­utes, San Fran­cisco State Uni­ver­sity me­te­o­rol­o­gist Jan Null tells The

Globe and Mail. Af­ter 30 min­utes it's 19°C (66°F) hot­ter in a car than it is out­side. “It's a lot hot­ter than most peo­ple think,” Null says. “On a 27° C (80°F) day, the dash­board can be 82°C (180°F) or hot­ter.” Since dogs and chil­dren are smaller on av­er­age than their par­ents, their core tem­per­a­ture can in­crease three to five times faster than that of an adult. So if you’re run­ning er­rands, leave your dog at home—ev­ery­thing has a way of tak­ing longer than you ex­pect it to.

The sun can also wreck havoc on your dog’s sen­si­tive paws. The sur­face of an as­phalt road can get as hot as 60°C (140° F) on a hot sum­mer day. Would you want to walk bare­foot on that? If you live some­where hot, pro­tect your dog’s feet with a pair of dog booties. Mut­tluk’s, for in­stance, makes weath­er­proof boots that af­ford great pro­tec­tion against the sun and do dou­ble duty, pro­tect­ing your pup’s paws from salt and ice in the win­ter.

And sun­burns for dogs are real. Just be­cause dogs have fur coats doesn’t mean they are pro­tected from burns. Thin­coated and light-coloured dogs are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble, and the del­i­cate noses and ears of all dogs are sus­cep­ti­ble to the sun’s harsh rays. The Uni­ver­sity of Saskatchewan ad­vises the use of pet-spe­cific sun­screens only, not hu­man sun­screens, which can con­tain in­gre­di­ents that are harm­ful to dogs, such as zinc ox­ide, octyl sal­i­cy­late, and ethyl­hexyl sal­i­cy­late. War­ren Lon­don Dog Sun­screen, which is non­toxic and con­tains mois­tur­iz­ing aloe vera, is a great choice. And be sure to keep your dog hy­drated with plenty of wa­ter. The Amer­i­can Ken­nel Club warns to be aware of signs of de­hy­dra­tion, in­clud­ing re­duced en­ergy lev­els, pant­ing, loss of ap­petite, dry nose and gums, and sunken, dry-look­ing eyes.

Wa­ter can be dan­ger­ous as well—an alarm­ing num­ber of dogs drown in swim­ming pools ev­ery year. In­stall a pet ramp, such as Skam­per Ramp, in your pool so that your pup can climb out if she falls in, and pre­vent your dog from reach­ing the wa­ter un­su­per­vised in the first place with a pet en­clo­sure or gate. Lucky Dog Pet Ken­nels pro­vide en­clo­sures that put an em­pha­sis on dog safety, great for even for “es­cape artist” dogs like Huskies. (They also make ken­nels with roofs to pro­vide shel­ter and pro­tect against UV pro­tec­tion.)

If your dog ever does es­cape your house, yard or pet­sit­ter, you can be pre­pared for that as well. (The Amer­i­can Hu­mane As­so­ci­a­tion es­ti­mates that ten mil­lion dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. ev­ery year.) Set up your pup with a Help4Pets ID tag. These easy-to-spot ID tags are like a 911 call for your pet—if some­one finds your dog and calls the num­ber, they’re con­nected with a team of spe­cial­ists who will con­tact you and help in any emer­gency. You can en­sure that med­i­cal treat­ment is au­tho­rized in case your pet is found in­jured and you can’t be lo­cated, or they can pro­vide emer­gency vet re­fer­rals if your vet is un­avail­able or if you are trav­el­ling. With noth­ing to plug in or scan, you can en­sure that help for your dog is just a phone call away!

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