Thursday, April 19, 2018
Pets

Eight tips to beat the heat for our canine friends

When the temperatures top out, the two-legged have a multitude of options to beat the heat. Without our assistance, dogs usually have just one — panting.

In extreme heat scenarios, such as the interior of a car, panting can just exacerbate dehydration. And when it's 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 125 degrees very quickly, even with the windows open. Each summer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals receives dozens of reports of dogs who've died after being left in hot vehicles by naive or careless pet owners.

Dogs already have a much higher body temperature than humans. And there's all that fur. "Dogs can overheat, literally, within just a few minutes when it's this hot out and they're in an enclosed space like that," said Amanda Fairchild, a certified veterinary technician in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Signs that your dog may be overheating include heavy panting, lethargy and restlessness. Fairchild offered these tips for keeping pooches happy and healthy throughout the summer:

• If you're traveling with your pup and a brief stop is necessary, be sure to roll down multiple windows. If it's a safe area for it, secure the dog outside while you go about your business — quickly.

• Carry a doggie "emergency kit" when you travel by car, including a Tupperware dish freshly filled with ice water and a towel that can be soaked and applied to the dog's back, stomach or neck if overheating occurs.

• Consider a Kool Collar, an expandable dog collar filled with a reusable ice pack.

• Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time, in blistering temps, are just as much at risk. Be sure to provide a shaded area, preferably with a concrete or stone floor, and plenty of water.

• Doghouses should be placed in the shade, under trees, porch or patio roofs.

• Owners of larger and thick-furred breeds should consider crating their pets inside for the hottest portions of the day or adding a freshly filled, noninflatable children's swimming pool to the dog's summer habitat. That way, Fido can cool off at his leisure.

• Paw pads are not shoes. Some people think that the pads on a dog's paws are like shoes, but they're not. Sidewalks and streets become extremely hot in the summer, and while a dog's paws are tougher than human feet, they still can get burned by hot pavement. Keep your dog on the grass in extreme heat to keep his paws intact. Also remember that sand can burn, too, so try taking your long beach walks with your dog early in the morning or evening when it's cooler.

• Prevent sunburn. Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned too. Hairless and light-skinned dogs have a greater chance of getting burnt. Make sure to put dog-safe sunscreen on your pup if he's going to be outside in the sun.

Comments
Find A Friend: Levi, the Dog

Find A Friend: Levi, the Dog

If big hearts score points, then you could say that Levi’s got game. But only in the sweetest, least competitive and non-confrontational way possible. Sports might teach life lessons to humans, but Levi plays ball to forget the horrors of a not too-d...
Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Construction begins on Saladino Dog Park in Brandon next week

Construction begins on Saladino Dog Park in Brandon next week

BRANDON — Hillsborough County will be starting construction next week on new amenities to Bertha and Tony Saladino Park, including a dog park.The county will start construction on a dog park, walking trail and expanded parking lot on Wednesday.The pa...
Published: 04/13/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for April 20

Hernando Pet of the Week for April 20

Courtesy of Hernando County Animal ServicesLouise is a 3-year-old black female terrier mix. She came into the shelter as a stray. Louise loves people and playing outside. She is a selective dog, so a "meet and greet" will be required, and she needs t...
Published: 04/12/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Find A Friend: Gracie, the cat

Find A Friend: Gracie, the cat

Never judge a book by its cover, because Gracie is no ordinary pussycat. She’s a kitty with charisma, an atypical tigress, a pal of a pet. She’s chatty and playful and likes to roll around with her belly up in the air just to gain attention. She’s re...
Published: 04/09/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for April 13

Hernando Pet of the Week for April 13

Humane Society of the Nature CoastDakota is a gorgeous 5-year-old hound. She participates in the Tails 2 Trails walking group at 9 a.m. every Sunday on the Suncoast Trail. Inquiries about adopting Dakota or other dogs and cats can be made at the Huma...
Published: 04/09/18
Updated: 04/11/18
Find A Friend: Bunny, the Boxer mix

Find A Friend: Bunny, the Boxer mix

Wait...what? She missed the deadline for the hippity-hop holiday edition of the paper? Ah well, Bunny has learned to take disappointment in stride. After all, she almost had a real home until the landlord said he didn’t want "her kind." But spring br...
Published: 04/06/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Pet of the Week for April 6

Hernando County Animal ServicesLeroy is a handsome white and black, 2-year-old rat terrier mix. He is enrolled in the Heal to Heal program at the Hernando County Women’s Correctional Facility, where he works with the trustees and trainer John Gore fr...
Updated one month ago
For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?

For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?

JACKSONVILLE BEACH — Adam Fuller credits a simple, one-word command — and a black Lab mix named J.D. — for helping to save his life. "Cover," he tells J.D., who is sitting to his left in a grassy field next to a park playground. The dog calmly walks ...
Updated one month ago
On National Puppy Day, Tampa Bay ranks high in dog park rankings

On National Puppy Day, Tampa Bay ranks high in dog park rankings

It’s National Puppy Day and one good way to celebrate is to make a few new friends at the Vinoy Dog Park near downtown St. Petersburg. It isn’t very difficult; as soon as you open the gate you’ll have four or five pups rushing to say hello all at onc...
Updated one month ago
Video: Florida man reunites with pet cat that ran away 14 years ago

Video: Florida man reunites with pet cat that ran away 14 years ago

FORT PIERCE — A Florida man has been reunited with a cat he lost 14 years ago. TCPalm.com reports Perry Martin of Fort Pierce said he had assumed his orange tabby named Thomas Jr., or T2 for short, had died in traffic. Martin moved in with a friend ...
Updated one month ago