Category Archives: heat stroke

Sun Safety Tips for Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

The heat of summer is upon us! My doggie, Bear, may be getting old but she still loves to romp in the back yard or simply lie under a tree and nap. Fresh air is good for dogs, and you may think that heat is better for your dog than cold but there are several ways in which both heat and sun can harm your dog.

Rule number one is to always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, cool water and a shady or covered area to lie down and relax. We’ve discussed other summer safety tips for dogs here on the Responsible Pet Ownership blog, but let’s focus this time on sun safety.

You might assume that because your dog is covered in fur he’s unlikely to suffer any problems from the sun, but let me surprise you! There’s more to me than a sappy doggie mommy who has been trained to dole out the CANIDAE TidNips. I know some stuff!

Use Sunscreen

Sunscreen can help prevent your dog’s nose and ears from getting sunburn. These are sensitive areas and are exposed even if there is hair on the dog’s ears. Keep in mind that light colored dogs are similar to folks with very fair skin — they will burn faster than dark dogs. Some dogs have thick coats while others have thinner coats. Poodles that have been freshly groomed have quite a bit of exposed skin for sunburn, so it is important to keep a close eye on them when they are playing in the sun.

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Symptoms, Causes and Treatment for a Pet with a Fever

By Linda Cole

It’s not always easy to determine if a pet has a fever or not. The general way many pet owners decide if their dog or cat is running a temperature is by feeling their nose. If it’s wet and cool, that’s a good sign the pet is healthy, but if it’s dry and hot that could mean the pet has a fever. However, there are better signs of fever in pets. Pet parents can tell right away when a pet isn’t feeling well, especially when they pass up their favorite CANIDAE or FELIDAE meal. We can also tell if they’re warm by touching them. If your pet is running a fever, you need to know for sure, otherwise you may miss the reason for their fever. The best way to know for certain is to actually take their temperature using a rectal thermometer.

Symptoms and Causes of Fever in Dogs and Cats

The first thing to remember is that our pet’s body temperature is higher than ours. We have a normal body temperature at 97.6 up to 99.6. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The normal temperature for cats is 100.4 to 102.5 degrees. Indications of a fever include loss of appetite, lack of energy, depression, shivering, a runny nose, coughing, dehydration, lack of grooming or vomiting.

An infection or inflammation can produce a fever in pets. Anytime their body temperature is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit is cause for concern. A temperature of 106 degrees or higher can damage a pet’s internal organs and can be fatal. High fever in cats isn’t as harmful for them as it is for dogs, but it’s always best to get a high fever down as quickly as possible. If you can’t bring it down on your own within a day or two, a trip to the vet is recommended for specialized care and to determine why they have a fever.

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How to Keep Pets Cool Without Air Conditioning

By Linda Cole

Air conditioning is a blessing and a curse during the dog days of summer. It seems like they break down on the hottest days. And not every pet is lucky enough to live in an air conditioned home. As responsible pet owners, we need to be mindful of how higher temperatures affect our pets, and when the air goes silent or you don’t have air conditioning, we still need to provide relief for our pets. So how can we keep our pets cool without air conditioning? Read on.

Since we don’t wear fur coats like our pets do, it’s essential to pay close attention to them when hot weather rolls in. Make sure outside pets have access to adequate shade and fresh water. Shaded areas change as the sun makes its daily run across the sky. To help keep your pet cool, pay attention to areas in your yard that have the most shade for the entire day.

Make sure water containers are placed where your pet can’t tip them over. Spill proof bowls can help but aren’t always foolproof. The best solution is a specially designed water bowl that’s made to connect directly to a garden hose. A pressure valve controls the amount of water in the bowl. When it gets below a certain level, the valve opens allowing water to refill the bowl. This way, your dog has access to fresh water that’s cooler than water in a bowl heated by the sun.

Dogs have their own natural cooling system. Panting helps them cool down, but when the weather heats up, they need help to stay cool. Even cats will pant on an especially hot day. You know it’s hot if your cat is panting. Outside cats can usually find a cool spot out of the heat, but it’s important to know where your kitty is so you can keep an eye on them.

A child’s wading poolis a great way for an outside dog to find some cool relief from the heat. Make sure the pool is in the shade, and only put enough water in to wet the underside of the dog unless you’re able to supervise. And never allow your pet to swim in a swimming pool unsupervised.

Fresh water is essential. Keeping an inside pet cool without air conditioning isn’t that difficult. Make sure to keep water bowls filled with fresh, clean water. It’s important for pets to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Cats are more apt to drink fresh water over day old water that’s been sitting around. You can add ice cubes to the water as the temperature climbs. Ice cubes seem to be interesting to cats, and they’ll check out their water to investigate those strange things floating in it.

Use fans. I like using pedestal fans because they’re up away from the pets, and you can set them to oscillate which helps distribute air around an entire room. I also use two of the wind machine fans that sit on the floor. Both the dogs and cats camp out in front of them when it’s really hot. You can also put ice cubes or a block of ice in a big bowl in front of a fan. This helps cool the air as the fan melts the ice. Window fans set so they are blowing out can help circulate air throughout a house. Close all of the windows except for one or two. The window fan will pull air back into the house through the opened windows.

Spray them down. You can help keep pets cool by spraying their paws, legs and around their neck with water. You can also take an ice cube wrapped in a paper towel and rub it along their neck, down their back, legs and over their paws. Cats appreciate this as much as dogs.

Keep curtains and window shades closed during the hottest part of the day. One of the best ways to keep pets cool without air conditioning is by keeping the hot sun out of the house to begin with.

Reconsider the crate. It’s difficult to keep a pet cool without air conditioning when they’re enclosed in a crate. If you have to keep your dog confined, you’ll need to make sure the crate is large enough for him to comfortably move around in without spilling his water. He’ll need his own fan as well. A better solution is to find an area in the home where he doesn’t have to be confined. You could also check to see if there are doggie daycares in your area, or someone who could pet sit while you’re away.

Keeping your pet cool in the summer heat is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Know your pet and how well they deal with heat. Some pets do better than others. Heat stroke is a possibility if they get too hot. Most pets do just fine in hot weather as long as they have plenty of water, shade and air movement, especially inside pets. Just remember – if you’re hot, so are your pets.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Keep Fido Cool in a Doggie Pool

By Ruthie Bently

I’ve used a kiddie pool for my chickens and geese for several years. I originally got it to provide my geese with a place to swim, as our property wasn’t near water. I began to rethink its use the day my dog Katie plunged into it after a play session. I’m not a neophyte when it comes to dogs. I’ve been involved in the pet industry since 1976 helping other pet owners solve problems with their pets, and I’ve owned dogs since 1981. My problem was that I never thought outside the box.

I didn’t consider the benefits of a kiddie pool for dogs until that day when Katie jumped into it. Katie was too warm for her comfort, and that’s why she went for a swim. For me it was an “Ah Ha” moment. I decided to get a second pool that the dogs could utilize without competition, and never looked back.

So why would you want a pool for your dog? You might be amazed at the answers. I found the pool I purchased for my dogs to be an invaluable asset in their caretaking. Smokey Bear met a skunk one evening on a ramble around the property and got sprayed. The odor was so strong I didn’t want to bring him in the house before trying to alleviate the odor, so I bathed him in the pool before I brought him in the house. He still smelled like skunk but not as bad as if I had brought him into the house and had to deal with the smell inside.

What else can you use your dog’s pool for? If your dog has gotten into your garden or flower beds, it’s a great place to wash muddy feet before letting them back in the house where they can track their paws across your rugs or furniture. I live in an old farm house and it doesn’t have a bathtub; instead, it has a shower stall with a plastic shower curtain. While Skye is great about being bathed, I can’t imagine washing a large wriggly dog in my bathroom. I use the pool outside for regular baths during nice weather and have used it for flea baths when necessary. Another benefit of washing Skye outside in her doggie pool is that after the bath she can shake to her heart’s content and doesn’t splatter water all over my bathroom.

I have a garden pond in my yard, and before I set up the pool, Skye would go diving in the pond. Now she leaves it alone. A friend’s mother had a problem with one of her dogs diving in her fish pond. Even though I thought the dog was diving for the fish, I suggested a kiddie pool for the dogs to play in. While she was skeptical, she tried it and the dogs have left the fish pool alone.

If you’re training a puppy to retrieve, a kiddie pool is a great place to toss the dummy to get them used to water retrieving. You can control the water temperature so they won’t get too much of a shock. You can also control the depth of the water so they won’t plunge in too deeply on their first retrieve and become afraid if they go in over their head. You will be better able to discern if they will make a good retriever as you can watch their reaction to the water.

Even if you’re just trying to get a dog used to being around water, a kiddie pool is a great way to start. You don’t have to worry about waves overtaking them and it is a good way to teach them water sports if that is an activity you want them to participate in with you. While most dogs don’t swim as we know it, this is also a good place to teach them how.

As Katie demonstrated to me, a kiddie pool is a great place for your dog to cool off after an exercise session, a walk, or on a hot day. It helps keep your dog from getting heat stroke and you are able to cool them off gradually. Because you’re in control of filling it, you can be sure it won’t have chemicals in it, and you won’t have to worry about your dog getting into bad water. A kiddie pool for your dog can be a great tool; by thinking outside the box you can discover lots of ways to put it to good use!

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Hot Weather Tips for Pet Owners

By Lexiann Grant

With hot weather in full swing, here are some tips to help your pet get through the summer.

Never leave your pet shut in an automobile during hot weather. Temperatures rise quickly in closed vehicles and your dog can suffer heatstroke and die.

Don’t leave your pet outside without access to a cool, shady area. Dog houses should be placed in the shade as temperatures inside these shelters rise higher than outdoor air if they receive direct sunlight most of the day.

Indoor pets who are not allowed in all areas of your house should have access to cooler rooms such as basements, baths or kitchens with tile floors. Avoid keeping your dog or cat in the garage, utility or laundry areas – rooms which are usually very warm. If your pet stays in a cooler room, they’ll be more comfortable should the air conditioning in your home fail.

Bring outdoor pets inside during extreme heat waves. For homes without air conditioning, try dumping ice in a tub, then place a fan where it blows air directly across the ice and towards one of your pet’s nap areas.

If a shelter isn’t safe for you during stormy summer weather, then it’s not safe for your pet either. Secure kennels and dog houses out of the way of falling limbs and where they are protected from high winds, lightning and hail.

Should the necessity arise to leave your home due to severe conditions such as floods or tornadoes, take your pet with you. Do not leave them to fend for themselves and possibly become lost or die. To ensure their safe return home if you are separated during a weather disaster, keep a current name and phone number identification tag on your pet’s collar.

Whether indoors or out, make certain that your pet has plenty of fresh water. High temperatures and changes in humidity increase your animal’s need for water. Fill large, spill-proof containers with chilled water. Place bowls where the sun won’t shine directly on them.

You may want to feed a lighter diet in summer. Some animals are more lethargic in hotter weather. Check with your vet for a recommendation.

All dogs, and even cats restricted to the indoors, are susceptible to insect bites and parasite infestations during warmer months. Use appropriate products to kill or prevent fleas, ticks and helminths. Ask your veterinarian which products are best for your pet. Outings during the summer can also be insect free if you apply a pet-safe insect repellant. Don’t use products designed for humans.

Exercise your dog with caution during hot or humid weather, particularly if he has a health problem like heart disease. When walking in unshaded areas, shield your dog’s body with your own, thereby creating a little shade for your pet.

Remember that your dog is “barefooted.” Prevent burned pads – don’t walk your dog on hot surfaces such as blacktop or concrete. Avoid taking your dog for walks in mid-afternoon when temperatures are highest; try early morning or evening walks instead.

Dogs that swim alone can drown as easily as people. If you have a pool, provide steps where your pet can exit easily. When swimming in a lake or river keep your dog safe from undercurrents or unseen hazards beneath the surface.

Don’t clip or shave your pet’s fur unless your vet or groomer recommends it, since a pet’s fur acts as insulation. Hairless breeds may need sunscreens when they’re outdoors to prevent burning.

Dogs and cats can’t handle high temperatures as well as humans. Pets with heavier fur or brachycephalic noses, like Pugs or Persians, are at risk for over-heating more quickly, but all pets can be the victims of heat prostration (or exhaustion), and heat or sun stroke. Know the warning signs and how to treat the condition.

Symptoms include: panting, rapid or labored breathing; tongue and mouth membranes turn bright red; confusion, disorientation; body temperatures of 104 degrees or higher; weakness; vomiting, sometimes with diarrhea; and, unconsciousness or coma.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Treat immediately by wetting your pet’s fur thoroughly or wrapping your pet in a cool, wet towel. After your pet begins to cool, allow them small licks of water from melting ice cubes. Get your pet to a veterinarian immediately for additional treatment.
Have a safe summer, and may you and your pet stay cool.

Read more articles by Lexiann Grant

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Heat Stroke and Your Dog: What are the Signs

By Linda Cole

Heat stroke is a serious medical condition for man and beast. Dogs are just as susceptible to summer heat as we are. Cool spring breezes will usher in summer winds, and we are once again reminded how a hot summer sun affects us and our pets.

A black haired animal has a definite disadvantage under a sweltering summer sun. A darker coat will absorb more of the sun’s rays. A white or lighter colored coat will repel those same rays. However, all dogs, regardless of what color their coat, should have a watchful eye kept on them during outside activities and throughout the sizzling days of summer.

Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting. It works by evaporating water in the mouth and on the tongue. Built up heat in their body is transformed into vapor and expelled through their mouth as they pant. The only area of your dog’s body that does sweat is their foot pads and nose.

Just like us, dogs and cats can suffer from heat stroke. Imagine wearing your winter coat in 80 or 90 degree weather. We can cool down with a cold glass of water or by sitting in front of an air conditioner or fan. Tail waggers that are kept outside don’t have that luxury.

Dogs react to high humidity in the same way we do. So shade and a water bowl full of cool water may not be enough to keep them from overheating. If your pup spends a lot of time outside, try setting up a kiddie pool out of the sun for them to lounge in – with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pool. Keep the water in the pool clean and fresh. Standing water is a haven for mosquito larva, and you certainly don’t want to provide a home for those little blood suckers in your backyard.

Knowing the signs of heat stroke in dogs could save your pet’s life. It is a real emergency that is preventable. It’s up to you as the care taker of your dog to pay close attention to your buddy during periods of excessive heat, especially if you live in an area of the country that also has high humidity. Don’t assume that a full water bowl and a shady tree is enough to protect your dog. Dogs will dehydrate faster in the heat of the day than we will.

If you notice that your dog is wildly panting, has blood red gums, is vomiting, dizzy or staggering, appears to be confused, or has a thick saliva, they are showing signs of heatstroke. If you call them and they appear unable to stand or refuse to move at all, you need to move fast to get them cooled down asap. If they are unconscious, they need to be taken immediately to the vet.

Never use ice on any dog you suspect may be suffering from heat stroke. They need to cool down slowly to avoid constricting the blood vessels which will only make their temperature rise. Get them out of the sun and place cool wet wash rags around their head and on their foot pads. Call your vet for an exam to make sure there has been no internal damage.

The best course of action is to prevent heat stroke before it happens. Each summer, we witness some poor dog locked inside a car in a mall parking lot with a couple of windows cracked for air flow. How would you like to sit in an oven while those who claim they love you are shopping inside an air conditioned store and all you have are a few inches for fresh air to enter your confines? Leave your pooch at home. Even in lower temperatures, a car can heat up quickly for your pet.

Avoid engaging in strenuous outdoor activities during extreme temperatures. Make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh water, both at home and on the go. Know your pet. Some dogs have a harder time with heat than others. Certain breeds with short noses like the bulldog, and dogs who have been in the treat “cookie jar” too many times need to be closely watched for signs of heat stroke.

Common sense along with plenty of fresh water and quality shade can prevent heat stroke from happening. Each summer, hundreds of dogs succumb to overheating but it is so preventable. Keep your furry buddy in mind when you are sweating through the dog days of summer. If that air conditioner or fan feels good on you, just think how good it would feel on your pet.

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.