Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tips on summertime dog health

Sitting the prow of a boat whizzing across a cool lake or thrashing in the brush on a hike in shaded mountains is one thing...but this is Arizona, notorious for its killer high temperatures.

If a dog can make it in Arizona, it can thrive almost anyplace. For instance, Ahwatukee...This is actually a prosperous suburb of Phoenix, but the Ahwatukee Foothill News recently had tips for keeping dogs healthy in summer in a story by guest writer Malinda Malone:

HEATSTROKE. Yes, dogs get this. Never leave your dog in a car in the heat or even push it up a barren mountain on a prolonged hike. A cracked window does NOT cool a car.

SUNBURN.  White, light colored, or dogs with sparse short fur are especially vulnerable. Use a sunscreen for dogs or even one for babies. Be sure to cover the dog's nose and ear tips, the skin around its mouth, and its back.

PAW PADS. Sidewalks and patios heat up fast. If you wouldn't go barefoot, or only for a second, your dog should not either. Get the animal onto grass.

DEHYDRATION. Provide cool water. Even put in ice cubes. Some people offer frozen broth to get dogs to drink more.

CAMPFIRES AND BBQs. Dogs can try to pull burning sticks out of fires. They may also try to lick food off grills that may be hot. Keep an eye on them. Also keep lighter fluid out of reach.

FIREWORKS. Dogs may think an unexploded firework is a stick and bite it or try to run away with it. Also, some dogs get very upset over loud noises. Keep dogs on a short leash at fireworks displays.

PARASITES. Ask the vet about flea and tick protection.

CHEMICALS. Don't let dogs drink a lot of pool water. Rinse the dog with fresh water after swimming in a pool. Even mud puddles can contain gas or oil.

This boils down to common sense. But, still, every year, we get some story about a person who drags some poor mutt on a big hike and the dog collapses. Think!

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