Weather & your dog

Dogs are not as good as people in shedding excess heat. You should take general care during hot and summer weather that your dog does not get too hot. Make sure shade and water is available and that there is some fresh air. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A CAR on a hot day!! Cars heat up much quicker than you think and that one inch or so of open window will not help.

If you park in the shade, the sun may move more quickly than you think. A water-filled pump sprayer can help keep your dog cool. But your best bet is to prevent overheating.

Heatstroke is indicated by some or more of the following symptoms:·

  • Rapid or heavy breathing
  • Bright red tongue
  • Thick saliva·
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Unsteadiness
  • Hot, dry nose
  • Legs, ears, hot to touch
  • Extreme: glassy-eyed, gray lips

Wet the dog down gradually using cool, not cold water. Get it out of direct sunlight. Give a little cool water to drink, a little at a time. Cold compresses to the belly and groin help. GET THE DOG TO THE VETERINARIAN! A dog that has had heatstroke once, can be prone to getting it again.

Caring for your Dog in Cold Weather.

There is a common misconception that dogs will be “fine” if left outside. This is not true! All pets need adequate shelter from the elements and insulation against cold weather. Pets should not be left outside in freezing weather – like humans, they can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. The young and the senior pets are especially at risk.

Indoor accommodations are best during extreme temperature drops, but if that is not possible, set up a suitable draft-free doghouse (‘Igloo’ is a good brand name) in an area protected from wind, rain, and snow. The dog’s house should be large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with insulation, such as straw or blankets. If your animal is prone to chewing, do not use blankets or material that can be ingested. The oils in Pine and Cedar shavings can be irritating to the skin, so use with caution depending on your pet’s hair coat. The house should be turned to face AWAY from the wind, and the doorway can be covered with a flap of heavy waterproof fabric or carpet.

Caution – do not use a heat lamp, space heater, or other device not approved for use with animals. This is a burn hazard for your pet and a fire hazard. Pet supply vendors sell heated mats for pets to sleep on or to be placed under a dog house but read and follow directions carefully before use.

Fresh water is a must at all times! Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and not frozen. Pets are not able to get enough water from licking ice or eating snow. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal. A heated dish is a wonderful tool for cold climates. The water stays cold, but doesn’t freeze. Caution needed for animals that may chew.

Pets spending a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter. Keeping warm depletes energy.

Anti-Freeze

If ingested, anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) can be lethal — even in very small quantities. Because many dogs and cats like its sweet taste, there are an enormous number of animal fatalities each year from animals drinking anti-freeze. Poisoning from anti-freeze is considered a serious medical emergency which must be treated by a qualified veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. Fortunately, the Sierra Company now offers a far less toxic form of anti-freeze. They can be reached at (888)88-SIERRA.

Never leave your dog, cat, or any other animal friend alone in a car in very cold weather! A car can act as a refrigerator and your animal could freeze. So, if you take your animal friends on a trip, make sure you and your family take them wherever you go.

Posted by: Carole Kelly

About Author: A gentle soul, prepared to stand up for what I believe in but never looking for confrontation. Trophy wife, mother of the year, and dog lover.  A bit of nonsense is good for your health.