The Dog Days of Summer

Summer is in full swing and this year could make for some great family beach days and cook-outs. During this season, our four-legged counterparts have a different experience with heat than we do. In the summer pets can easily become overheated. So, while we like all of the warm weather activities summer can bring us, our pets can be in danger. Here are some tips to keep your pet cool this summer: 

Hot Dogs are for Barbecues, Not Cars

 When the temperature is 70 degrees outside, the inside of a parked car heats to 90 degrees in about 10 minutes and 110 in about an hour. So, if you are thinking that you should leave your dog in the car while you run an errand, think again. Responsible bystanders should report if they see an animal trapped in a car on a warm day to their local animal control or local law enforcement.

Limit Outdoor Exposure to Hot Temperatures 

 Even for the most active of pets, it is important to adjust exercise schedules during the summer months.

Most animals rely on panting and limited sweating abilities to cool themselves when they are hot. So, if you are going to take your dog out for some exercise, try to do it in the morning or late evening when the temperature outside is a bit cooler. Make sure to avoid those mid-day oven-like conditions. 

If your pet is just outside to hang out, make sure that they ALWAYS have access to shade and fresh water. You never know how long it might feel to them to be outside so ensure they always have shelter and something to drink to cool them off.

Be aware of the signs of heat stroke

 According to American Humane Society: Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, lethargy, stumbling, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, and coma. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, you should seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible. You can provide some immediate treatment using cool (but not icy) water to lower your pet’s temperature by submerging the pet in a tub of water, wetting them with a hose or sponging them down. If your pet showed signs of heat stroke but has been cooled and now appears fine, do not assume that all is well. Internal organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and the brain, are all affected by extreme body temperature elevation. It is best to have a veterinarian examine your pet to assess potential health complications and ensure that other risks are not overlooked.

The summer is a great time for pets and owners to spend time together outside. Just remember it is crucial to be safe during the summer months. Using these tips you and your furry friend should stay safe and cool all summer long.

If you are looking for some warm weather activities for your dog, don't forget that Spring Lake has their annual Dog Swim Weekends in September.

Dogs can run, splash, and swim without their leashes at the annual Water Bark, held on weekends each September in the swimming lagoon at Sonoma County's Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa.

 Visitors are reminded that the Swimming Lagoon is free of blue-green algae, which has been present at the Russian River. The lagoon is slightly chlorinated and filtered to ensure safe water for the dogs.