Friday, June 28, 2013

No. 198 Keeping Fido Cool

Miss B As Seattle area temperatures soar in the 80s and 90s its important to recognize and prevent your pets from becoming more vulnerable to heat stress. Maintaining a comfortable environment for your dog and is important. Providing plenty of cool, fresh water will help keep your dog cool throughout the summer.

Dog Days of Summer
Avoid excessive exercise of dogs during hot days or warm, humid nights. The best time to exercise dogs is either early in the morning before sunrise or late in the evening after the sun goes down.
If you do need to take fido with you on a car ride or road trip make sure you have collar and leash, bowl and fresh drinking water with you (these items should be with you at ALL TIMES anyway but especially in the summer). Stalls, traffic, construction and car accidents happen at the most inconvient times and you might end up in some snarrled traffic longer than anticapted and fido will need to stay hydrated and also need to go to the bathroom more frequently. You would be surprised at how many dogs roam free at rest stops and shopping malls because their owner was to lazy or unprepared to take care of the safety of their pet. I have scene to many close calls between dogs and vehicles even within a parking lot. Drivers rarely adhere to the posted 5mph limit or pull there eyes off of their gps or smartphone when entering or exiting a parking lot.
You know those storage areas in the trunk of you car that you have not opened in 2 years? That is a great place to stow a back up 6 foot lead and collar.
Leaving a pet in a confined area such as a car with windows cracked for "ventilation" or any other poorly ventilated enclosure is a bad decision and can quickly cause harm, can be fatal to a pet in a matter of minutes. One study reports that when the outside temperature is 78F, a closed car will reach 90F in five minutes, and 110F in 25 minutes. Depending on outside ambient are temps can soar even higher and faster than you think.
Unlike humans who can regulate body core temperature by sweating through the skin, remove clothing, drink cool water or soda, and voice their discomfort to others, Dogs have a more difficult time cooling off. Dogs sweat through their foot pads and pant heavily to flow cooler air across their tongue and into the lungs to cool the body. This is greatly less efficient than humans.

Pets become more vulnerable to heat stress.
Puppies and kittens and geriatric dogs and cats tend to be more susceptible. Others at risk include short-nosed breeds, like the bulldog and the pug, and Persian cats; overweight pets; and pets with cardiac or respiratory disorders.
Dogs who have recently received short haircuts may become sunburn victims and are as susceptible to heat stress as dogs with their natural hair coats. In fact, a dog's hair coat has insulation characteristics to help protect it from heat. Close clipping should be avoided during hot weather.
Sometimes we worry that our dogs are not eating as well as usual. Unless a dog displays other signs of illness, chances are it's doing what many dogs do during hot weather — eating less. Many cats also tend to eat less during extremely hot weather.

Places to Cool Off Fido with a splash in the Puget Sound Area

Dog Parks with water access
Magnuson Park-Seattle
Luther Burbank- Mercer Island
Marymoor- Redmond
Edmonds Off Leash- Edmonds
Howarth- Everett

Washington State Park Rules
Pets are allowed in most state parks, but must be under physical control at all times on a leash no more than eight feet long. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Pets are not permitted on designated swimming beaches.

National Park Rules
The general policy for national parks is that dogs must be on a 6 foot or less leash at all times, are only allowed in parking lots, in your car, or within 50 to 100 feet of the road. Most of the parks allow dogs in campgrounds and in developed areas, but there can be exceptions to these rules. The majority of national parks do not allow dogs on any hiking or walking trails, any backcountry trails, any beaches or inside buildings. There are even a few lesser known national parks that do not even allow you to drive into the park if you have a pet in your car.
Before you plan on visiting a park or trail within the National Parks System I recommend calling and finding out what the rules specifically apply to that park.

Leapster, Marymoor Off Leash Park, Redmond
West Beach, Fidalgo Island
Edmonds Off Leash
Howarth Park, Everett
Howarth Park, Everett


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