More tips for canine care in hot weather
Published 9:29 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019
By HELEN PALMER
As I am writing this, the forecast is for high temperatures along with high humidity for the next three days. Even though we’ve had some balmy, 78-degree days, the temperatures are going to rise again. Therefore, in order to protect your canine companions, I am going to continue with hot weather tips. Here are some suggestions from the Humane Society of the United States (www.hsus.org).
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All dogs need some exercise each day. HSUS recommends going out in the early morning or late evening to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. I suggest the morning period (before 10 a.m.) for the simple reason that the road, or pavement, has had all night to cool off. Walking your dog on concrete or asphalt when it is hot will burn the dog’s paws.
This same advice can be given if you plan to leave your dog in an outdoor pen with a concrete base. The dog must have a shaded platform in order to stay off the hot concrete. Remember, that if the pen is shaded by a tree, the shadow will move as the earth rotates. The pen may not be shaded the entire day. Cool, clean water is a must.
The HSUS also recommends that your dog have identification tags on its collar. It is wonderful to be able to open the door and let your dog out into your fenced yard, but be sure to check that the gate is safely closed before releasing your dog.
Be careful when you use garden chemicals; read the directions and the label warnings. Is the product safe after it has dried? Do you have to wait until it rains before allowing your pet in the area? If you plan to use mulch, do not use cocoa mulch, since the odor attracts dogs and the product is toxic if it is ingested.
Be alert for parasites. Is your dog scratching or chewing after being outside for a run? Check for fleas and/or ticks. There are a number of products on the market to repel or kill these external parasites, but I prefer to let my veterinarian advise me on the best for my particular dog. Puppies and older dogs are sometimes sensitive to some of the chemicals in flea and tick killers. I also prefer to spray areas the dog has been indoors with a flea growth inhibitor, which is not as toxic as the flea killer but keeps the flea eggs from maturing.
Be aware that mosquitoes can infect your dog with heartworm microfilaria that grow and infect the heart and bloodstream. That is why it is recommended to provide your dog with heartworm preventative. It is less expensive to prevent heartworm than to treat a dog that has the condition. Actually, the treatment is hard on the dog and some dogs die from the treatment.
Fleas transmit tapeworm eggs. It takes about a month for a tapeworm to mature enough to shed a segment so you are aware your dog is infected. Again, your veterinarian can supply the proper medication for tapeworm.