It’s been a scorcher of a summer so far, and we expect August to be much the same. It’s both frustrating and disheartening to hear of dogs being left in cars on hot days, which causes them severe distress and even death. You would think that common sense would prevail when it comes to such an obvious no-no, but apparently not, because there have been a number of reported incidences of dogs being left in hot cars around the GTA. So, we must all work together to get the word out. You can never leave your pet in the car while you run an errand, shop, or visit. Not even for a couple of minutes.
Here are some tips on how to keep your dogs cool in the summer.
- Provide plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated.
- If your dog needs to be outdoors during the daytime, make sure it has a shady spot to rest in. Backyard kiddie pools are inexpensive and a joy for dogs, why not fill one up and let them splash around in it? (Supervised, of course.)
- Walk your dog earlier in the morning or in the evening. Keep your walks short and remember that dogs will keep going and going, and while they may seem happy and fine, they may not be. Learn the signs of heat exhaustion in dogs. An finally, be careful when walking your dog on hot pavement – it can burn their paws.
- Cool water rubbed onto areas of your dog’s body helps to provide some relief, but there’s no better way than a good old swim in the lake to keep them cool all day. There are many dog parks that have access to lakes. Check your city’s off leash web sites. Laura’s dog Phoenix loves Humber Bay.
- Check out the various “cool gear” that’s available online or in pet supply stores – from cooling vests to dog beds, there are lots things to try.
- In addition to (not instead of) plenty of fresh water, try feeding your dog chilled treats. Jen’s website has easy recipes for frozen dog goodies.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, and again, please help to inform our community about the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars.
[box_light]Jen Mitchell is a local television producer/director with a specialty in pet related programming. Check out her popular website at .
Laura Ducharme is an entrepreneur and host of the television show Fido & Wine on The Pet Network.[/box_light]