PRYOR, OK —
“There is a reason they call them the Dog Days of Summer, as temperatures and humidity rise it can be very uncomfortable, even dangerous, for our pets,” said Kathy LaValley of Rockin' G Animal Shelter. “Pets have a much harder time keeping their body temperature regulated during high humidity so it's important to take extra precautions when humidity is above 75 percent.”
LaValley said it shouldn't have to be said but never leave your pets in a parked car. On on 85 degree day, she said, the temperature in the car with the windows cracked can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes the temperature can reach 120 degrees. LaValley said this may cause pets to suffer irreversible organ damage, or die. LaValley has information on what to do if you see a dog locked in a car on Rockin' G's Facebook page.
“Limit walks to early morning and late evenings. If you would not walk barefoot on the hot concrete or blacktop, don't expect your dog to either,” said LaValley.
“Be sure they have constant access to fresh water. Even if you have to put ice cubes in it, make sure they have fresh water at all times. You can even freeze a little chicken broth in an ice cube tray and put that in their water bowl as a special treat, they love it,” said Jewell, who has eight dogs of her own.
Access to shade is another key to helping outdoor pets stay cool.
“Also consider getting a mister for your hose, they don't use much water and they are very effective,” said Jewell. “Also a lot of people think shaving their outdoor dog is enough to keep them cool. It's not always the best option since their hair is often what protects their skin.”
“If you keep your dogs water in a bucket or other large container, it should be emptied and refilled every day. Standing water attracts mosquitos,mosquitos carry heart worms and heart worms are a long, slow, painful death,” said LaValley. “Dogs cool their bodies through the pads of their feet. A swimming pool set in the shade is a terrific way to help your pooch stay cool.”
LaValley said some furry friends are more susceptible to heat stroke than others. Those that are very old, very young or overweight are more susceptible.
LaValley said breeds like boxers, pugs, shih tzus and other dogs and cats with short muzzles will have a much harder time breathing when temperatures reach over 80 degrees.