Protecting your older dog from the risk of heat exhaustion
August 14, 2012
For many individuals looking to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue group at the end of the summer, some may find that an older canine meets their speed and lifestyle. Older dogs can be wonderful companions and will offer many years of fun, but they also have unique needs that you'll have to look out for. According to The Huffington Post, older dogs are one of the many groups that are at risk for heat exhaustion during the dog days of summer. If you're planning on an active day with your furry friend, here are a few risk factors to take into account.
1. Check temperature and humidity levels. Before you're about to head out and enjoy the great outdoors with your dog, examine the conditions that you'll be placing your companion in. For instance, if you're heading to a park or the beach, your dog may have a chance to cool down in the water or can take advantage of shady spots. However, if you're spending time at an outdoor festival or parade, it may be wise to bring a few water bottles along or an umbrella to err on the side of caution.
2. Your dog's coat. If your dog has a darker coat, this can pose problems on an especially hot afternoon. Darker coats will absorb the sun's rays far more quickly, so you should be mindful of your dog's condition and give him or her plenty of water throughout the day. Conversely, if your canine has a pale or thin coat, he or she won't get hot as quickly, but you may want to think about applying dog-safe sunscreen before going outdoors.
3. Bring ice along. According to TK9.com, if you're going to be spending a significant amount of time in direct sunlight, consider packing a few ice packs inside of towels. As your dog begins to show signs of heat exhaustion, you can place these cooling towels on your companion's underside to help him or her become more comfortable. Of course, this might also be a good time to contact a Bideawee Animal Hospital to ensure that an animal health care professional can get your dog back in tip-top shape.
The summer weather can be a trying time for new pet parents, regardless of their furry friend's age. Prepare ahead of time and take your dog's risk factors into account to enjoy a worry-free day in the sun.