Keep Fido cool during 'dog days'
Hot summer days aren't called "dog days" for nothing, and local veterinarians stress the importance of keeping dogs cool and hydrated. As the temperatures are expected to rise to a blistering 90 to 95 degrees this weekend, so does your pet's chan...
Hot summer days aren't called "dog days" for nothing, and local veterinarians stress the importance of keeping dogs cool and hydrated.
As the temperatures are expected to rise to a blistering 90 to 95 degrees this weekend, so does your pet's chances of hyperthermia.
"Hyperthermia is a cause for concern this time of year," said Dr. Roger Jorgenson of the Southgate Veterinary Hospital.
In the summer, the most frequent cause of hyperthermia is heat stroke.
"Having a heat stroke can be fatal to pets," said Nukhet Hendricks, the executive director of the Humane Society. "You always want to make sure they have plenty of fresh water."
The most common signs of heat stroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat and a rise in body temperature.
If a dog's temperature gets too high, it can cause brain-damage, seizures and nerve damage.
"Since dogs are unable to regulate their own temperature, make sure your dog always has free access to water," Jorgenson said. "And make sure they have shade and a well-ventilated dog house."
Water is a key element when it comes to keeping your dog healthy during the summer heat.
"I always bring plenty of water with me," said Tyler Jensen of Moorhead, referring to when he takes his1-year-old shepherd mix, Otis, to the park. "Sometimes we even bring a Super Soaker to cool him off. After the park we have a kiddy pool at home, and we fill it up with water for him."
Although some say you can leave a dog in a ventilated car, the Humane Society of the United States advises against it.
"We do realize that pets are more susceptible to heat more than humans," Hendricks said. "We recommend not leaving pets in cars."
In the summer, the inside of the car can rise to above 150 degrees within minutes.
The normal body temperature for a dog is 102 degrees.
"In 22 years of practice, I've only seen a couple of cases that the dog left in the car, died," Jorgenson said.
Any pet suffering from hyperthermia should see a veterinarian immediately.
In cases of emergency, the Red River Animal Emergency Clinic, 1401 Oak Manor Ave. S., is open from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday thru Thursday and is open 24 hours on weekends.
Common sense is key to keeping animals healthy during hot weather, Jorgenson said.
"Keep track of them in the heat. Just like us, they don't like to be left in the sun," he said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tesina Jackson at (701) 235-7311