Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dog Safety During Hot Weather

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Tuesday July 30, 2013, 1:59 PM

LAPD - Van Nuys

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Community: Dog Safety During Hot Weather
Hi Bel-Air Association,
The hot summer months can pose a real threat to pets. But even if it's cold where you live, if you vacation with your dog in a warmer climate, keep in mind that dogs simply cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible pet owner, you need to make sure that your pet is safe during hot weather. Here are some pointers:

Never leave your dog in a car. All pet owners should know the dangers of leaving Fido in a hot car, even if it is just for a few minutes. Many dogs love riding in the car and it is very tempting to let him ride to the grocery store with you. However, even with the windows open, a parked car can reach sweltering temperatures in a matter of minutes—even when parked in the shade. Pets left in hot cars can die within minutes or can suffer from severe dehydration. The best idea is the leave your dog at home during the hot weather.

The bed of a pick-up truck is dangerous. Allowing your dog to ride in the back of an open pick-up truck could be very dangerous for a dog at any time of the year. In hot weather, the beating sun can be lethal, but at any time just one jolt can send your dog flying out of the bed of the truck, resulting in injury or worse. Even leaving your dog unsupervised in the bed of a truck in a public parking lot can be a recipe for disaster. Just don't do it!

Walk your dog early or late. In places where the temperatures soar during the day, it is a good idea to walk your dog either in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower. Not only will you and your dog become hot and dehydrated, the hot concrete can burn your dog's sensitive paws. When you do walk during hot weather, take along water for your dog and stop frequently to let your dog drink. If you prefer to walk your dog at night, try a lighted dog collar for extra safety.

Proper grooming. It is always a good idea to keep your pet properly groomed, but it is especially important during hot weather. If your dog has very long fur, it could feel like you would if you were wearing a fur coat in 95-degree weather! Long haired dogs can quickly overheat in the high temperatures. With long haired dogs, regular brushing also helps remove their winter undercoat and can help your dog better regulate body temperatures during hot weather. Also keep in mind that you do not want too much fur trimmed off. Poodles and other breeds with short cuts can get sunburned. Sunscreen does not protect dogs the way it will humans.

Watch for Insects. Hot weather can mean more insects, which can mean trouble for your pet, especially if your dog seems to enjoy chasing bees and wasps! Keep a dog first aid kit on hand in case of an insect sting. Spring and summer are when fleas and ticks are at their worse, so make sure your dog is getting his monthly flea and tick preventative. Mosquitoes are also a problem in many areas, so stay current on heartworm prevention because mosquito bites can cause heartworms.

You can never be too careful when it comes to your beloved furry family members! They depend on you to keep them safe at all times, especially during hot weather when they can become as uncomfortable as you do when the temperatures soar.
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