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Happy Bones Pet Sitting Blog

Signs of Heatstroke & Our Summer Dog Walking Policy

The Georgia heat and humidity are not only uncomfortable for people; they can also be dangerous to our pets. Dogs don’t perspire the way humans do. The only sweat glands they have are on the pads of their feet.  The hot pavement can not only be painful, it can affect their ability to cool themselves. Dogs also pant to cool themselves but panting won’t work properly if the outside air isn’t considerably cooler then the dog’s body temperature.  Many people don’t even realize that their dog is overheating. That happy, long tongue is letting you know your dog is HOT!  Heat stroke is a very real danger for your dog. 
When outdoors with your pets in the summer months there are several things you can do to insure your pet doesn’t succumb to the heat.
  • Keep pets with predisposing conditions like heart disease, obesity, old age or breathing problems cool and in the shade.  Even normal activity for these pets can be harmful.
  • Provide access to clean water at all times.
  • Do not leave your pet in a hot parked car even if you are in the shade or will only be gone for a short time.  The temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach up to 140 degrees.
  • Limit walks to the hours before 7am or after 7pm whenever possible.  The risk for heatstroke, dehydration and paw pad burns will be the greatest during these hours. 
  • Do not take your dog jogging with you.  Too much exercise when the weather is very hot can be dangerous.
  • Do not muzzle your dog.
  • Test the temperature of the pavement with your hand.  If the temperature of the pavement causes you discomfort, your dog may be at risk for paw pad damage due to the heat.
Be aware of the signs of heat stroke which can come on quickly.  Below are some of the signs to look for.  Recognizing the problem and acting/intervening quickly are important to limiting the damage that can be caused by heat stroke. 
Signs of Heatstroke
  • Excessive panting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bright red tongue and gums
  • Thick, sticky saliva
  • Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
In the summer months each year, we start adjusting our schedules so that we don’t hurt our furry clients by walking them in extreme heat.  At Happy Bones Pet Sitting we will not walk/exercise your pets outside when the temperature is 90 degrees or above or on extreme high humidity days.  We will take them outside to do their business & then spend the remainder of our time inside playing games to exercise them. We are also happy to change our walking times to the morning (schedule permitting) instead of the heat of the day. The safety & health of your pets is our top priority. 
Happy Summer! Stay safe & cool out there!

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