By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator
With summertime upon us, folks are heading outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and longer days. If you have a dog, there’s nothing better than bringing your canine with you – but that fun in the sun comes with risks.
Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin. They rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. Dogs can suffer from heat stress in minutes, even when the temperature doesn’t seem that hot.
Unfortunately, the consequences can be severe – and deadly.
Understanding how dogs keep cool – and what we can do to help – ensures our beloved pooches won’t overheat. With the help of the Aggieland Humane Society, we offer these sensible tips to help keep your pet safe this summer:
Walk pets in the mornings or late evenings, but first test the ground’s warmth by placing the back of your hand on the surface and counting to 10. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.
Get your dog a kiddie pool and keep it filled with cool water and out of direct sunlight. If your dog stays outside, check the water frequently.
Seeing paw prints on the ground when walking your pet could indicate overheating.
Have a disaster plan for your pet. Review our disaster preparedness checklist to ensure your pet is safe and cared for in an emergency.
No matter how long or short your walk, drive, or visit to a dog park, always have plenty of water available for your pet. Proper hydration helps prevent overheating.
Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car. The temperature inside a vehicle can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes – even with the windows partially open – and a dog can suffer organ damage or even die. If you see an unattended dog in a hot car, call the police department or animal control.
If you have questions or want more information, call the Aggieland Humane Society at 979-775-5755.
Enjoy the dog days of summer – and keep yourself cool, too!
About the Blogger
Kelli Nesbitt has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 17 years, the last nine as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, she earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.
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