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Summer’s Over…Or Is It?

I can’t believe it’s almost Labour Day weekend.  Where has the summer gone…but wait has it?  The kids are going back to school, but the forecast in Peterborough is showing warm weather with humidity into the 30’s for well into the first week of September.  What does this mean for our furry friends?  We still have to be mindful not only to ensure they are not locked in a hot car, but have you ever thought about how hot pavement would feel on your best friend’s pads?  Ouch!!  Here are some helpful hints to ensure your dog stays cool and safe from the dangers of heat.


Heatstroke is extremely dangerous to your pet’s health.  It occurs when an animal is no longer able to cool itself.  When the dog’s body temperature exceeds 40oC, a dog can experience brain damage and organ failure.  Keep your pet indoors during the hottest hours of the day.  If they need to be outdoors, provide a shaded area and plenty of water.

Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke can happen very quickly.  It starts with rapid breathing, lack of energy, and decreased urine production.  This can quickly escalate to heavy panting, bulging eyes, and long and dark red tongue.  Collapse, vomiting and diarrhea can follow.

What Can You Do if Your Dog Has Heatstroke

Cool your dog, and get them to the vet as quickly as possible.  Avoid using ice or really cold water, as this can cause blood vessels on the skin’s surface to tighten restricting blood flow, and reduce cooling.  It can also cause shivering, which produces more heat from muscles.  Cool key areas including the neck, abdomen and inner thighs with lukewarm water or water soaked towels.  Lukewarm water is important to use to prevent shock.

In order to prevent heatstroke take these precautions when doing the following activities:

Never leave your pets in the car.  It can be life threatening even in just for a few minutes (see the temperature chart I’ve attached).

Use the 5 second rule on hot pavement.  If you can put your bare foot or back of your hand on hot pavement, and leave it there for 5 seconds without feeling discomfort, then it’s safe for your pet to walk on.

Before going out in the boat with your dog, ensure they have a shaded area, and plenty of water.

Believe it or not, pets can get sunburned.  Dogs with shorter coats are especially in danger.  To prevent a burn, limit walking your dog to early mornings and evenings when UV rays are lowest.


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