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 ARTICLES > Puppies > Keeping Cool In The Summer Heat
  Puppies  Article:
Article By: Niki Elliot        Publish Date: 2006-02-01

This summer has been quite a challenge for pet owners. If we are not having torrential rain, we have to deal with very hot days and nights. It is important to not forget our furry friends, especially if we humans are sitting in a comfortably air conditioned home or office all day. Your puppy might be nice and comfortable inside as well, but a lot of puppies are outside more than in. Ensuring he doesn’t overheat is important for the active, outdoor puppy.

Fresh water and shade are the two most important things a puppy who spends any amount of time outside needs. Dogs dehydrate very quickly in the summer sun, so be sure to refill a large water dish often throughout the day. Even if your garden is well shaded naturally, you will still need to erect some sort of shelter from the heat. Choose a spot in the shade, or in an area that isn’t under direct sunlight. Make sure it is large enough for air to pass freely through it.

Moulded Plastic Pools, spray bottles and Sprinklers are great for cooling hot puppies off in the heat. A kiddie’s plastic paddling pool that your puppy can easily jump in and out of is ideal. Fill the pool up in a shaded area to keep the water from heating. Be sure and change the water often as well, to prevent mosquito larvae from taking up residence. Make sure your puppy is supervised at all times, and that a smaller puppy can get in and out of the pool without difficulty.

Prevent Heat stroke in Your Puppy
The temptation is great, and oh, those puppy dog eyes are just begging to go with you when you leave to go shopping, or on some other such errand.
Even though it may seem to be the kindest thing to do for your pup, bringing him with you on your errands can turn from a joyous outing (to him) to a life and death situation. Much kinder to leave him at home, where he is not susceptible to roasting in a closed car.

If you absolutely must bring him with you, bring water for him to drink, leave your car windows wide open, all of them, so a breeze can blow through your car. If you are worried about your pup disappearing, there are window grates that lock into place in an open window to prevent just such a vanishing act. Leave your car running, with the air conditioning on, but this could pose a security problem!. Look into doggie day-care, if you are planning on being gone a full day. Most vet clinics will happily board your puppy for the day while you run errands.

Prevention at Home
Often puppies don’t know when to quit when they are having fun. It is up to us to watch for stress signals like heavy breathing, excessive panting, and put a halt to play when it gets to be too much. Puppies with short noses eg. Stafies, Bulldogs, Pugs, Bostons, Boxers, are more susceptible to heat stroke than other breeds with longer noses. They have a very narrow windpipe because of their short noses, are unable to get enough air through their bodies. Be sure your dog has a cool place to lie down; a well-ventilated area in the shade is needed.

In severe cases of heat stroke the mucous membranes will turn blue. If you are unfortunate enough to be in this situation, move your puppy into a shaded area and apply cold towels into the groin areas, and on his neck, stomach and legs. Give the puppy water and then get him to your Vet immediately.
Water is essential to dogs, never more so during summer heat. Make sure your dog has lots of clean, cool water, within easy reach at all times.

Prevention is really the only method of keeping your pet healthy during the summer

by Niki Elliot ( a TTouch Practitioner II)
Niki gives regular puppy classes and can be reached at niki@ttouch.co.za

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