Hi friends! Winston here. Whew, it sure is getting warm out there. Wearing a permanent fur coat in Texas can be a tad uncomfortable, especially in the weeks between Memorial Day and Halloween. That’s a lengthy stretch of long, hot days! As your beloved SampleHouse ambassador, here are my five rules for keeping your furry, four-legged family member safe and cool in the coming months.
Rule #1: Stay Hydrated in the Shade Dogs love water! And I’m a lab, so I really love water. I’d swim in my water bowl if I could fit inside. Speaking of water bowls, we have so many doggie water bowls at SampleHouse that provide water and style! I personally love my “WOOF!” water bowl. In Texas, it’s really best to leave pets inside because it gets so very hot in the afternoon. If your pet must absolutely be outside for some of the day, make sure he or she has plenty of clean, cool water.
Rule #2: Never Leave Your Pet in the Car My summertime motto is “Not even for a minute.” It doesn’t have to be 90 degrees outside for your car to become a dangerous heat trap. Dogs have a lot of fur and we don’t sweat like you do, so we need a much more controlled and consistent environment to prevent temperature-related illness or even death. Yikes! Here’s a handy chart from the American Veterinary Medical Association to show how dangerous it is to leave someone like me, your dear friend Winston, in the car even on a mild day.
Rule #3: Get Thee to the Groomer Some breeds of dogs have thick double coats and lots of fur. These doggies sure appreciate a nice summer cut to help them keep cool. I have short hair because I’m a lab, and I get pretty warm when I’m flouncing around outside. I can’t imagine how hot my Great Pyrenees and Saint Bernard friends get—their hair traps a lot of heat! They shouldn’t get shaved because it can be uncomfortable, introduce skin infections and allow sunburns (yep, dogs get sunburns too!), but a shorter ‘do can make a world of difference.
Rule #4: Breed Awareness Some of my favorite friends are what veterinarians call “brachycephalic” breeds. What a word! Pugs, Boston terriers, English bulldogs, and even Persian cats (and more!) have longer soft palates, shorter face bones and “smushed-in” faces. Even though they are so cute, they have a hard time getting enough oxygen, and they aren’t great at panting. These dog friends get overheated and suffer from heat stroke very easily, so it’s best to keep them in the air conditioning as much as possible. If your pet is a brachycephalic breed or even a mix of one, they’ll need a lot of care and supervision in the summer!
Rule #5: If an Emergency Happens, Keep Calm and Go the ER Sometimes we dogs get a teensy bit too excited to be outside. We play hard and run harder, making it even more difficult for us to cool off. If you think you and your pup might have overdone it outside, the best thing to do is stay calm and get your furry friend to the doctor right away. A purple or dark red tongue, painful or hard panting and weakness or glassy eyes can be signs of serious reactions to heat, and they need to be addressed right away. If you think your pet might already have heat stroke, cool them off gradually on the way to the doctor, but do not use ice water, as this is extremely dangerous. Room temperature or slightly cool water on the armpits, tummy, or ear flaps is a safe way to bring body temperature down without causing further damage.
I hope these tips help you have a safe and fun summer with your favorite furry friend! I’ll be in shade with a nice, cool drink if you need me. Happy summertime!