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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Dog Days of Summer: How to prevent Canine Heatstroke.

It's summer time again, most people enjoy this weather because they would be able to flaunt their sexy bodies in skimpy swimsuits. However, Hot weather spells trouble for dogs. Because they can’t release heat by sweating the way humans do, heat and humidity can raise canine body temperatures to dangerous levels. Heat stroke kills, and heat stress (a less severe condition) can take a serious toll on a dog’s health. Unfortunately, heat-related problems are among the most common summer canine ailments.

image source: http://www.activevetcare.ie
 Conscientious caregivers plan ahead and do everything they can to keep their dogs safe in the heat. Here are some strategies and products for helping hot dogs chill out.

To reduce canine summer heat stress, let your dog become accustomed to climate changes naturally and gradually, the way animals adapt in the wild. Schedule long walks for the coolest time of the day but spend a few minutes outdoors during warmer hours, too. Unless your climate is dangerously hot, your dog can be comfortable for short periods.

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Summer daytime temperatures are coolest at dawn and dusk. Just after sunrise and just before sunset are the best times to take your dog for a run or a long walk. Humidity matters as much as temperature; in fact, a combination of high humidity and moderate temperatures can stress a dog as much as mid-day sun. Always watch for signs of stress. Dogs pant to release heat, so if your dog pants more heavily than usual, slow down, stop, find shade, offer water, and rest for a while.

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Ideal dog exercise locations are shaded parks or lawns near a pond, river, creek, or pool. Beaches are usually cooler than inland areas, and both lakes and oceans (assuming conditions are safe for swimming) allow dogs to cool off whenever they like. Whether your dog is a wader or swimmer, let him rest in the shade after playing in water. At home, a plastic wading pool can be a perfect place to dip and chill.
image source: http://cahvetclinics.com
Whenever temperatures climb, provide extra drinking water. Your dog’s panting cools him by releasing body heat, but this process also can dehydrate his body.

To encourage a hot dog to drink on hot days, resupply his cold water. Some people fill a dog bowl or bucket and freeze it overnight. As it melts during the day, it provides a steady supply of refreshing, cold water (check to make sure it melts quickly enough to provide as much water as he might wish to drink).

Alternatively, or in addition, freeze or simply chill water in the refrigerator in a plastic water bottle and add the melting or chilled contents to your dog’s water periodically throughout the day. Change your dog’s water more often during hot weather and add ice cubes to your dog’s bowl.

Many hot dogs enjoy curling up with a nice cold ice pack. A frozen plastic water bottle stays cool for hours. Dogs who use frozen water bottles as pillows cool down quickly, since blood circulates close to the surface at the neck and throat.

image source: http://www.peakcitypuppy.com

For summer comfort, nothing beats the shade of trees, so as you plan the day’s activities, look for parks, play areas, picnic tables, and hiking trails that are sheltered from direct sunlight. At home, if your dog doesn’t have a dog door or easy access in and out, be sure he has shade to rest in and ample water supplies. The sun’s angle changes with the seasons, so be aware of shifting shade patterns. Providing shade is most important between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Ventilation and air circulation are crucial when dogs are confined to pens, crates, and kennels. Solid walls interfere with air circulation while chain link fencing, screens, or mesh fabric allow the air to move. Shade covers help reduce heat loads, and fans that circulate air have a cooling effect. Study the forecast as you schedule play dates and outdoor events. When heat and humidity are high, save outdoor activities for breaks in the weather or days with lower humidity.

Keep your dog well groomed, with frequent brushing to remove dead hair, especially the undercoat. Some long-haired or heavy-coated dogs feel much more comfortable with short summer cuts, keeping in mind that dogs whose coats are shaved or cut very short are at risk for sunburn.
 Heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke or heat prostration are increasingly severe levels of the same basic condition.

Any dog can suffer from heat stress, but dogs who are most susceptible include the very young and old; any dog with a history of heat stress; breeds with flat faces or short noses; and dogs who are overweight, physically inactive, have cardiovascular disease, or respiratory problems. Some prescription drugs may increase the risk.

The symptoms of heat stress include profuse panting, salivation, an anxious expression, staring without seeing, failing to respond to commands, skin that is warm and dry, fever, rapid pulse, fatigue or exhaustion, muscular weakness, and physical collapse.

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 The symptoms of heat stress include profuse panting, salivation, an anxious expression, staring without seeing, failing to respond to commands, skin that is warm and dry, fever, rapid pulse, fatigue or exhaustion, muscular weakness, and physical collapse.

The symptoms of heat stroke or heat prostration can include a warm nose and foot pads, glazed eyes, heavy panting, rapid pulse, a dark red tongue, fever, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, immobility, and unconsciousness. Brain damage occurs when the body’s temperature reaches 106o to 107oF. A dog’s normal temperature is 100.5o to 101.5oF

If your dog experiences any of the above symptoms, provide immediate first aid. Your rapid response may save your dog’s life.

Reduce your dog’s temperature by moving her into shade and immersing her gradually into cool water, such as in a stream, pond, fountain, horse trough, bath tub, or wading pool. Otherwise, wet the dog thoroughly, pouring a continuous stream of cool water over her body, beginning with the head and extremities, from a hose, watering can, bottle, or pan. If possible, apply ice packs to her head and neck. Apply wet towels to her abdomen, groin, legs, head, and neck.

If you can, take your dog’s temperature and continue applying cool wet towels until it returns to normal.
As soon as possible, take your dog to a veterinary clinic. Even if she seems to have recovered, her body temperature could increase again; heat stress always carries a risk of brain damage; and depending on the dog’s age, physical condition, and the amount of time spent with an elevated temperature, complications can occur.
image source: http://www.riverbills.com
 Cool Equipments that you can get at your friendly pet shop.
1. Canine Cool Vest
image source: http://www.dogsniteout.com
 2.Dog Cooling Mat

image source: http://blog.thepoochstore.com

 3. Dog Aircon

4. Dog Bone Pool

5. Dog Boots

6. Drinkwell Pet Fountain

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