Summer is in full force and it is HOT outside! You feel it… and so does your pooch! Many dogs are not shy about telling you how hot they feel, but some of the dedicated pups will not. Here are some things to keep in mind to safely stay active with your dog:
- Take your dog out for exercise early in the morning or later in the day when it is cooler.
- Plan your activities near a body of water so that they can take a dunk to cool off!
- Look for trails that have a lot of shade.
- Let your dog take frequent breaks. If your dog is heavily panting, it may be time to slow it down and turn around!
- Make sure to pack water! Even if you think you will not need it, it’s better to be safe.
- Use sunscreen on pink hairless skin! Most sunscreens for small children are safe for your dog.
- Beware of black pavement as this can get VERY hot and burn your pup’s paw pads.
- Stay on the trail in the front range! The lovely tall grasses that your pup wants to run through are prime rattlesnake territory.
Signs of heat stroke:
- Heavy panting, even when resting
- Very red gums or tongue
- Sluggishness or disorientation
- High body temperature (above 103F
**If you notice any of these signs, seek veterinary attention right away as this can become a life-threatening emergency!**
Also, Colorado recently passed a bill allowing you to rescue a hot dog (or person!) from a parked car. It is now legal to break a window and prevent you from being liable for the damages if you follow a specific protocol:
- You need to think that the animal or person was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury
- You would have to check and make sure the door is actually locked first. If it’s not locked, just open it!
- You would have to make a reasonable effort to find the owner or driver of the vehicle.
- You would have to contact law enforcement.
- You would have to use justenough force to get into the vehicle and rescue the occupant and no more.
- You would have to stay on the scene until the owner or law enforcement showed up, and if you absolutely had to leave, you would need to leave a note with your contact information and provide that information to law enforcement as well
- Here is a link to the bill itself: https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017A/bills/2017A_1179_signed.pdf
Enjoy the summer sun and keep your pets safe!
Julia Katzenbach, DVM