The dog days of summer are here and we humans aren’t the only ones suffering. For our canine best friends, long hot summer days in a house without air conditioning or a backyard without shade can be misery.
All pets – even those that spend a lot of time outdoors — are potential victims of summer heat. Because dogs and cats don’t sweat, they don’t have an efficient way to cool themselves down. That’s why heat exhaustion is one of the most common ailments to affecting pets during the summer months.
It’s important that we take steps to keep our pets cool during summer’s hottest days. Best Friends experts offer the following tips:
- Be sure your dog or cat has shade and plenty of cool water.
- Exercise your pet during the coolest times of day – early in the morning or after the sun goes down.
- If your pet enjoys water, provide a sprinkler or wading pool on hot days.
- If your cat or dog has a white or light-colored coat or has exposed skin, be careful of sunburn. Check with your veterinarian about using a sunscreen on your pet.
- NEVER leave any pet in a car in the heat. On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car can rapidly increase to 120 degrees – even with the windows open.
If you see signs of heat stress in your pet — excess panting, reddening of the area around the mouth and nose, and an increased heart rate – get him out of the heat immediately. Cool him down with cool, not icy cold, water. If symptoms persist, see your veterinarian.
On very hot days, it’s best to keep pets indoors – in the air conditioning or near a fan. If that’s not possible, consider bringing your dog to doggy day camp, where he can spend the day in the air conditioning, playing with other canines under the watchful eye of trained counselors. You’ll appreciate not having to take him for exercise in the summer heat when you get home!
Did you know this is peak season for runaway dogs?
Independence Day celebrations can last for a week or longer, and the fireworks and firecrackers associated with the fun can cause dogs to hide or run away trying to escape the noise. As pet owners, we need to take some extra precautions to keep our pets safely at home.
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Friday, June 21 is “Take Your Dog to Work” Day. The annual celebration has come a long way since the inaugural event in 1999. A growing number of companies allow pets in the workplace for this special occasion.
The experts at Best Friends Pet Care offer some tips on how to make sure taking the dog to work is a happy experience for everyone involved (pets, coworkers and bosses!). They are experts because, staff members at Best Friends bring their dogs to work every day year round.
They suggest that you start by considering your dog’s temperament and training. Remember that behaviors you think are cute (like jumping up on people to greet them) may not be as well received by co-workers.
- Your pet should be friendly and relaxed around both people and other dogs, and be reliably housetrained (marking the office carpet is a no-no!)
- Also, think about how your pet behaves when you leave. Does she howl or cry from separation anxiety, or just lie down and take a nap?
- Even if your pet is extremely well-behaved, be sure to check with your co-workers about any concerns they may have. A colleague with severe allergies or an overwhelming fear of dogs won’t appreciate even the gentlest canine.
If you decide to take your dog to work, the following equipment will make the day easier on your pet and your co-workers:
- A pet or baby gate, so you can restrict your pet to your office area or cubicle.
- A water bowl and some treats, plus a plastic mat for under the bowl can help prevent stains on the office carpeting.
- A bed or sleeping mat and a couple of familiar toys.
- Plastic baggies for cleaning up after your pet!
Above all, be respectful of your co-workers and “Take Your Dog To Work” Day can be a successful and fun experience for you and your dog. For more information about dog behavior, visit www.bestfriendspetcare.com