Mistakes Dog Owners Make When Handling Pets in Hot Weather
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Well-meaning dog owners can make mistakes in the heat that can claim a dog’s life. Below are a few things to consider to help protect your dog from heat-related illnesses.
MONITOR WARM DEPLETION, HEAT STROKE
Take the case of Dive and Diamond. The two Pit Bull Terriers were left in a Las Vegas garage out of direct sunlight, but that didn’t stop the hot air from creating dangerous conditions.
Police say the dogs died of heat exhaustion.
INCIDENT: Las Vegas woman arrested after 2 dogs died in garage
“Dogs are dying there and people are being arrested. It was in the news today that a woman was arrested for two dogs left in a garage,” Gina Greisen, president of Nevada Voters for Animals, referring in their case.
“Animals have no voice,” she said. “They depend on you for their care.”
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Dogs are at risk for heat stroke in as low as 80 degrees. They don’t sweat like humans do to cool themselves down, their bodies are designed to retain heat.
Panting is the primary way dogs cool themselves down, cooling the air that circulates in their bodies, but some dogs have breathing problems.
“In Las Vegas, short-nosed dogs are very popular like French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs and Pugs,” said Heather Benson, veterinarian in charge of West Russell Animal Hospital.
“These dogs have changes in their airways that make them more difficult to calm down,” she explained. “So overweight, older, short-nosed dogs are more prone to heat-related injuries. “
AVOID BURNT LEGS
Another problem is the temperature of the soil.
“It’s crazy that people are leaving their dogs on the streets right now,” said Jonathan, a dog owner from the Las Vegas area. “They’re walking them on the asphalt. It’s way too hot.”
Animal experts say it’s important to protect a dog’s paws with boots if you go for a walk in the summer.
“Unfortunately, every year we see pets that come up with heat-related injuries. They are susceptible to injury to their feet,” Benson said. “They can burn their pads on the ground because it’s so hot. Even though they have this pad, it’s not enough to keep the heat from getting inside their feet.”
RELATED: How to Keep Your Dog Safe During the Las Vegas Summer Heat, When to Walk Him
FUR KEEP DOGS COOL
Experts also say to properly shave your pets because, contrary to popular belief, dogs’ fur helps protect them from overheating and sunburn.
USE COOLING APPLIANCES
Finally, it is important to have suitable cooling devices inside and outside.
“Hot days are not the time to take our pets out and start exercising. Just like us, you need to work on your conditioning and do the same for your pets,” Benson said. “When we get to the temperatures we are at right now, it’s dangerous and they don’t survive.”
Las Vegas is not an ideal climate for keeping dogs outside, but if you must leave your dog outside you need to make sure there is adequate cooling in place.
“If you have to keep your pets outside during these hot days that we are currently experiencing, one option would be to use a day boarding,” said Benson. “Dog day care centers and veterinary hospitals have the option of leaving your pet there for the day.”
INFORMATION HERE: What you need to know about hot weather and dogs
No one can deny the joy that pets bring into our lives and how important it is to keep them safe.