Summer Heat Equals Caution


Chloe and I pause during our early morning walk to rest in the park. 

As the summer rolls in, so rolls in the heat. It also means that summer warmth equals a time of caution for our dogs. You and I can easily reason our way through the warmer temperatures and prepare accordingly, but did you know that dogs are more susceptible to that heat. While they offer us their personal protection year round, we need to watch over them especially during these hot summer months.

Our high desert has some of the lowest humidity numbers around, but the temperatures here can easily soar into the high nineties and above for days on end, and that doesn’t include a brilliant sunshine that continuously streams down on Albuquerque’s higher elevation. 

We constantly have to monitor Chloe’s playtime outside especially at the hottest time of the day by keeping her indoors. You would think that when she sees us sitting in the patio lounge chairs she would take the hint that it’s time to rest, …but butterflies and birds in the backyard are so much more fun to chase, even if that means she could drop from heatstroke.

There are five rules of summer to keep our dogs happy and cool.

1 - Give your pet easy access to cool water and shade. Regularly fill the water bowl with fresh, cool water, provide a shady area in the yard such as a doghouse, and bring your pooch inside during the hottest hours of the day.

2 - Protect your pup from sunburn. Pale, short-haired dogs, and pups with a short summer hairdo are more prone to sunburn, so use a sunscreen labeled for animal use on the nose and ear tips.

- Keep those paws off hot surfaces. Limit walks to the early morning or evening.

4 - Never ever leave your pet alone in the car. Simply cracking the windows isn’t enough because the glass collects light and traps heat.

5 - Watch out for signs of heatstroke. These include hard panting, staggering gait, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, and vomiting. If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, gradually lower their body temperature by moving them into shade or air-conditioning or applying cold packs to their head, neck or belly. Then go to the vet immediately! Heatstroke can lead to brain and organ damage, heart failure, and even death.

(Five Rules of Summer, Reprinted from Camp Bow Wow Albuquerque - June 2014 Newsletter)

It's summertime in the high desert!

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