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THE WEATHER AND YOUR DOG

The following are great articles from the Humane Society of the United States regarding the weather and your pets.  Please read and follow, alot of people can't stand the heat--

Imagine if you had fur.

Reprinted by permission of The Humane Society of the United States."  The Humane Society of the United States

***{Please note that we make no representation that The HSUS endorses the owner of our site, or our site's content, products, or services.}
***{
Dachshund Haven of Garden Grove or anyone involved with them are not affiliated with the HSUS and they are not affiliated with us.}

        Spring & Summer         

Cool It! Summer's Heat Can Be Deadly for Your Pet

Dog in Open Truck Window  

©2002

Mike McFarland/HSUS

 

 

By Rebecca Simmons

Americans have a love affair with their cars—and their pets. During the summer months, however, the combination can be deadly.

Heatstroke might have killed a litter of kittens if Kim Intino, manager of HSUS's Animal Services Consultation Program, hadn't noticed their frantic movements while walking through a mall parking lot in upstate New York. The kittens, trapped inside a parked car on a hot, humid summer afternoon, were "literally throwing themselves against the car doors trying to get out." Their open-mouth panting and desperate attempts to escape the vehicle were signals to Intino, at the time an animal caretaker at a veterinary office, that the kittens were in real danger.

Intino immediately contacted mall security to have the owner of the vehicle paged. But before the owner arrived, Intino convinced a security guard to force the locks on the vehicle open, possibly saving the cats' lives. "Their bodies were very limp, and they were gasping for air when we got them out," she says.

The kittens were lucky. They survived. Many pets aren't so fortunate.

The Dog Days of Summer

Common sense tells most people that leaving their pet inside a parked vehicle on a hot, summer day could be dangerous after an extended period of time. But most people don't realize that the temperature can skyrocket after just a few minutes. Parking in the shade or leaving the windows cracked does little to alleviate this pressure cooker.

On a warm, sunny day windows collect light, trapping heat inside the vehicle, and pushing the temperature inside to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree Fahrenheit day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within ten minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. At 110 degrees, pets are in danger of heatstroke. On hot and humid days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute, and quickly become lethal.

A recent study by the Stanford University School of Medicine showed that temperatures inside cars can rise dramatically even on mild days. With outside temperatures as low as 72 degrees, researchers found that a car's interior temperature can heat up by an average of 40 degrees within an hour, with 80% of that increase in the first 30 minutes. A cracked window provides little relief from this oven effect. The Stanford researchers found that a cracked window had an insignificant effect on both the rate of heating and the final temperature after an hour.

Pets, more so than humans, are susceptible to overheating. While people can roll down windows, turn on the air conditioner or exit the vehicle when they become too hot, pets cannot. And pets are much less efficient at cooling themselves than people are.

Dogs, for example, are designed to conserve heat. Their sweat glands, which exist on their nose and the pads of their feet, are inadequate for cooling during hot days. Panting and drinking water helps cool them, but if they only have overheated air to breathe, dogs can suffer brain and organ damage after just 15 minutes. Short-nosed breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, young pets, seniors or pets with weight, respiratory, cardiovascular or other health problems are especially susceptible to heat-related stress.

Pets on the Move

While it used to be that our animals stayed home to guard the couch, increasingly dogs, cats and other pets are going along for the ride, whether tagging along during errands or putting in major mileage during the family vacation. The high number of animals on the road means that awareness and vigilance are essential for protecting pets from parking-lot peril. Help spread the word by following these tips:

bullet Remind friends to keep their pets at home during the summer months if they'll be going anywhere pets are not allowed.
bullet Educate others by distributing posters or by leaving brochures on windshields. The HSUS has posters, available for a nominal fee ($3 for 10/ $5 for 25), that store managers can post inside their windows to remind shoppers that "Leaving Your Pet in a Parked Car Can Be a Deadly Mistake." Similar, 4" x 9" hot car flyers are also available (50 for $3) at the address below. For a sample brochure, send a SASE to HSUS/Hot Cars, 2100 L St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20037.
bullet Get involved. If you see a pet in a parked car during a summer day, go to the nearest store and have the owner paged. Enlist the help of a local police officer or security guard or call the local police department and animal control office.

Deb Antoniades, of Monroe County, New York is an animal lover who not only keeps her own pets at home when the temperatures rise, but who is vigilant about keeping other animals safe as well. "I keep a stack of photocopies in my glove compartment of an article about the dangers of leaving a dog in your car in the summer—even with the windows open. I leave [the articles] under the windshield wiper of any car I notice with a dog left inside. I've called 911 a couple of times as well."

Taking Action

In case of an emergency, it's important to be able to identify the symptoms of heat stress caused by exposure to extreme temperatures. Check the animal for signs of heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness.

If the animal shows symptoms of heatstroke, take steps to gradually lower her body temperature immediately. Follow these tips, and it could save her life:

bullet Move the animal into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
bullet Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or immerse her in cool (not cold) water.
bullet Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
bullet Take her directly to a veterinarian.

In many states, it's against the law to leave a pet unattended in a parked vehicle in a manner than endangers the health or safety of the animal. Despite these laws, not to mention a basic common sense that should guide most pet owners during the summer, companion animals die every year from heatstroke. The worst part is knowing that each death was preventable. That's why sharing this information is so important. Summers, after all, are truly supposed to be carefree.

                                                                   

Protect Your Pet from Winter Woes

 

cold weather pet

©2002

Whim Whams Illustration Studio

In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines.

·         Don't leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks.

·         No matter what the temperature, windchill can threaten a pet's life. A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If your dog is an outdoor dog, however, he/she must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

·         Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

·         Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

·         The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

·         Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family.

Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family

 

 
     

 

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Last modified: 01/26/2013