Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's August

If you live in SC, FL or any other place that has extreme Summer heat and humidity, you'll need to provide shade and water for your dog. Shade means an open air area in which shade is maintained throughout the day. The sun travels during the day so a shady part of the yard in the morning will not be shady in the afternoon. Water means fresh, cool water provided multiple times throughout the day. Cool water left in a bowl in the morning heats up. It also gets lapped up by thirsty dogs. It must be replenished throughout the day.

Without access to open air shade and cool water, your dog will die:

Police say Wombley, a year-old yellow Labrador retriever, was found dead Thursday evening on a second-floor balcony at a Tampa hotel.

The dog's owner had recently moved to Florida from South Carolina.

Police say the dog was left on the balcony late Thursday morning. Investigators found a dried-up water bowl, saliva and scratch marks were found near its body.

A car does not qualify as "open air shade". If you leave your dog in the car in the extreme Summer heat, your dog will die:

"A person can't crack the windows enough to cool down the dog without letting it out of the car. This is the worst case scenario and it only takes a few minutes before it becomes a matter of life and death."

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

* Heavy panting
* Dog begins huffing and puffing or gasping for air
* Dog begins to weave when it walks because of dizziness
* Dog lays down or collapses and can't get up
* Dog becomes unconscious


I personally know someone I would describe as a responsible dog owner who left 3 dogs in her vehicle with windows rolled down (dogs in wire crates) on an overcast Spring day in Seattle. She checked on them periodically and ultimately found 2 of the dogs dead from the heat with the third dog in distress. Not at all the typical circumstances that come to mind when we think of dogs dying in cars but it was a lesson for me and I'll never forget it.


When in doubt, err on the side of safety and leave your dog at home with access to open air shade and cool water.




3 comments:

Susan said...

I know some areas are having unseasonably cool weather right now, but even the summer I lived in Boston, MA was too hot to leave a dog in the sun all day in August. People, use your heads!

smartdogs said...

If, on the other hand, you live in Minnesota - you may want to put a coat on your dog at night...

49F nights - meh

Caveat said...

Then there's always 'leave your dog in the house with air conditioning or if you don't have it, a good fan running and access to the basement'.