Now that summer is here we have to be careful to protect ourselves and pets from the heat. Some breeds such as chihuahuas just love hot weather. Other breeds with heavier coats may be at a higher risk for heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when body temperature reaches over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Pets with heat stroke will have glassy-looking eyes, and they will have difficulty walking or standing up.
My Labrador Retriever used to dig a big hole for herself underneath a bush in our front yard to keep cool. Nowadays though so many new homes don't have big trees or bushes for pets to take shelter under. Plus often avid gardeners don't like pets digging in their gardens. How do you keep your pet cool and comfortable in the hot days of summer?
Just like children, dogs should not be out be out during the hottest part of the day. Also, you need to slow your pace with your dogs in the summer. Don't make them run so much that they get overheated. Moving slowly keeps the body's metabolism from rising and keeps pets internal temperatures down. Also, make sure your dog always has access to water. Have a bowl that is heavy enough not to tip over or provide an extra bowl in case your pet tips over the first one.
There are also some natural remedies for helping dogs stay cool. Here some suggested by the holistic vets writing in the book New Choices in Natural Healing for Dogs and Catsby Amy Shojai and the editors of Prevention for Pets:
Encourage your pet to drink - Pets that are sensitive to heat need to drink a lot of water but the body's thirst mechanism isn't always as sensitive as it should be. Give your pet ice chips or ice cubes throughout the day.
Replace electrolytes - When dogs and cats lose fluids, they also lose electrolytes. Give your pet an electrolyte solution like Pedialyte or Gatorade to replace lost minerals. You can add several tablespoons to your pet's water everyday.
Mist with essences - Use Bach's Rescue Remedy (you can find this at Health Food stores and sometime Grocery Stores in the health food section). Put five drops in a cup of spring water and mist your pet when he gets warm.
Use Belladonna (a homeopathic remedy) - Give pets under 15 pounds one pellet of Belladonna 30C every 30 minutes until they start feeling better. Larger pets can take two pellets every 30 minutes. If your pet is not better by the third dose - call the vet.