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How To Keep Dogs Safe From Heat

By Staff | Aug 19, 2009

If you see a dog in the sun with no supplemental shade please report it to the Wetzel County Animal Shelter and the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Department or your local law enforcement immediately.

Protect your dog from heatstroke and death from the hot weather.

-Leave your dogs at home and never leave them in a parked car, even for five minutes when it is hot outside.

-For dogs that live outdoors, If you will not bring your dog indoors please provide supplemental shade for them. A dog box in the sun is like an oven and does not provide relief. Your dog needs a source of shade that will provide relief when the sun is at different angles also, not just from high noon sun. Dogs which are kenneled need shade on the side that the sun raises and sets and on top. Dogs which are tied must also be safe from getting tangled and cut off from access to water or shade. They must be in an area where air can circulate.

-Dogs must have plenty of cold fresh water at all times. Ice cubes are a good thing to add to their water frequently. If your dog is prone to knocking over its water you can dig a hole and set the bowl/bucket in the hole so it will not be knocked over.

-Heat stroke occurs when your dog is no longer able to maintain its normal body temperature. Your dog’s internal organs will start to breakdown and if they are not cooled off quickly enough they will die and may still suffer irreversible internal damage. Dogs do not have the same cooling system as people. they regulate their temperature through panting and on hot, humid days they are unable to cool their bodies effectively.

-Dying and suffering from heat is a horrible, painful , suffering death. Symptoms are excessive panting, difficulty breathing, collapse, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, seizure, coma, pale gums, bright red tongue, and thick saliva. If this occurs cool them with cool/tepid water, immerse or gently hose them to cool them off, move them into air conditioning, phone your local emergency dog clinic. Even if you feel they are okay they still need to be checked by a veterinarian for damage to the internal organs.

If you are in need of a dog box or you need advice or help providing for your dog, please contact the shelter at 304-455-5348.