Saturday, June 18, 2011 5:00 AM
Help Your Dog Beat the Heat!
Special thanks to my good friend Tacogirl and the SAGA Humane Society of San Pedro Belize for allowing me to reprint this article which addresses an important seasonal issue for pet owners both in San Pedro and Playa del Carmen alike. The original article can found here on the Tacogirl Belize Blog.
There aren’t many things that everyone in San Pedro agrees about, but
no one would argue with you when you say ‘It’s hot!’. It has been very
warm the past couple of months and it looks like we may be in for a long
and very hot summer. While we seek out the shade and drink ice cold
drinks to cool us down, we need to remember that our furry friends feel
the heat just like we do. The only difference is that they depend on us
to provide them with shade and fresh, cool water.
Recently, a family in San Pedro suffered the tragic loss of their
much loved dog. Why? Because they didn’t realize that dogs can suffer
terribly in the heat. Their loyal pet followed them on a journey along
San Pedro’s dusty roads one afternoon. He seemed enthusiastic to run and
stayed with them as he often does on their journeys, running along
What this dog’s owners didn’t realize was that dogs often place their
loyalty above their own health and welfare. They believed that if the
dog became too hot or tired, he would rest or find a drink. Sadly, it
was too late before they realized that their beloved dog had overheated and he died.
Remember that in the hot sun, your dog may be even more uncomfortable
than you are. He’s wearing a fur coat, after all. It is best not to
exercise your dog during the hottest hours of the day – between 11am and
3pm. If you have to take your dog out during this time, make sure that
you give him breaks in the shade and have plenty of fresh drinking water
Dogs do not sweat like humans do, so they can become overheated very
quickly. If your dog is panting, you know he’s hot. Make sure you
provide shade for your dog during these hot ‘dog days’ of summer and
have a plentiful supply of fresh water available to him at all times.
Never leave him tied up in the sun. Keep an eye out for the symptoms of
heat stroke, which can include any of the following:
Heavy panting, dark red and dry gums, lying down
and unwilling (or unable) to get up, collapse and/or loss of
consciousness, thick saliva and dizziness or disorientation. If you
think your dog has suffered from heat stroke, there are things you can do to help save your dog.
1. First, move your dog out of the heat and away from the sun right away.
2. Begin cooling your dog by placing cool, wet rags or washcloths on the body – especially the foot pads and around the head.
3. DO NOT use ice or very cold water! This can make the situation worse.
4. Offer your dog cool water, but do not force water into your dog’s mouth.
5. Call or visit your vet right away – even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye, so an exam is necessary
Have a cool canine – not a hot dog!
If you are worried about a dog that may be over heating or suffering from heat stroke, call your local vet or animal rescue organization for help.