Overheating Dogs - Create Dog Popsicles - Really!
The heat affects animals in different ways. Some lean breeds have little problems with the extra warmth if allowed to get out of the sun! Always use caution with elderly and very young animals that have a harder time regulating their body temperatures. A young puppy’s world is a toy and they get up in the morning thinking of playing! Puppies under one year can get so excited with attention that you need to force them to “cool off” between play times. Some breeds require extra caution in the summer months. Examples are the "pushed-in" nose dogs (Brachycelphalic), such as Pugs or breeds that can't pant effectively in the heat. Overweight dogs and dogs with extra skin, like SharPei, require additional vigilance in hot weather.
BEATING THE HEAT
Beating the heat is not an easy one for your pet. Unlike humans, dogs do not sweat. They get rid of the heat through their mouth and lips by basically “sweating through their mouth” when they pant. They release heat through their pads, so taking them to the county fair or outside market when temperatures are on the rise is asking for issues.
- Cool grass will remove heat from a dog, but concrete or gravel will add to the issue! When temps are high, leave your pet home where they can get out of the sun!
- Feed animals in the evening when temp’s drop! If they are a twice a day feeder, feed ¼ of the diet in the AM and ¾ of the diet in the PM. Low Fat/Protein diets are not only good for the waste, but it creates less heat in digestion than high fat high protein diets do.
- Make Popsicles to control heat! Use RE-SORB® electrolytes in one gallon of water and add 1 tsp of beef/chicken bouillon. Freeze in ice cube trays and give to your pets as treats. Feed them outside if your pet is not use to ice cubes or they will make a mess trying to figure out the “eating technique” the first time. Dogs get rid of heat through their mouths so this works great. Freeze large dog popsicles in Dixie cups. Cheap and effective cooling!
- For outside dogs, heat is difficult to deal with. Mix one pack of RE-SORB® electrolytes in one gallon of the water to make “Puppy Gatorade”. When the temperatures approach high 90’s, use as replacement for drinking water.
- For a change of pace for puppies and kittens, freeze FOSTER CARE™ Milk Replacer in a Dixie cup for a cooling plus nutritious treat.
OUTSIDE DOG – CAUTION
Be sure the pet can get out of the sun – this is #1.
- If you don’t have shade -- create it! Using sun screening over the kennel is easy. Use the same stuff used by greenhouses or livestock and fasten with "zip ties" to the top of the kennel. You can use chain link top rails for support if needed, but most will not need. Temperatures can be 5-7º F cooler under the shade.
- Misters or misting hoses such as the Cool Patio Mister are great help as misters lower the temperature of the kennel 10 º F without creating mud! Turn on in the heat of the day for several hours or use a timer on your faucet that runs the mister 15 minutes each hour. Keep hoses high on the outside of the fencing and under the shade netting, attach with zip ties for easy removal – instant relief!
- We all use cool fresh water and electrolytes, but ice chunks will cool the core body temp when your pet replaces panting fluid loss. One cup-size chunk will last through the heat of the day in a stainless water bucket.
You will read don’t jog with your pet in summer, but that is not correct! Our advice is if you are having issues staying comfortable while exercising - both of you should stay home!
- Canine Backpacks – These are light, nylon, and hold 2 water bottles half frozen, carried in the pockets.
- They are simple saddles with balanced pockets on either side. Often used in young dogs to carry water in summer and bricks the rest of the year. They wear the dog out in half the miles and give the teenager something to concentrate on when training “Putting them to work”.
- Use lightweight neck relaxing leashes that don’t inhibit breathing. Mendota is a light weight leash that will relax when the dog is soft on the leash allowing easier breathing or panting. If more control is needed, a simple pull on the leash tightens the collar. The Mendota leash is designed by a dog owner who did not like choking his dog and could not find what he wanted so he made his own! Soon others had him make them a leash and a new company was born. Mendota is the last leash you will ever buy, it works that well!
- Collapsible Bowls are a must if you take your dog with you. Community water has more bugs than you want to expose your pet to -- use his own bowl. It also fits in the back pack.
- Take a small amount of cool water and pour it over the back pack to aid cooling.
Hot weather is hard on everyone. Help your dog tolerate the heat – Make popsicles! It’s easy and your dog will love the cool treat!
If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical