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Keep Your Dog Cool When the Weather Gets Hot

Tips to help your dog stay comfy and safe this summer.

Summer is the perfect time for trips to the beach, jaunts in the park and barbecues in the back yard — and, if you're a dog owner, you'll quite likely be bringing your pooch along for the fun.

But dogs and people have different reactions to heat, and the United Animal Nations has launched a campaign to ensure dog owners keep their pets safe as temperatures rise.

Dogs die in hot cars — it's not just a forgettable band — and the greenhouse effect of your windshield can quickly turn your vehicle into an oven this summer. For instance, on a 72-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 116 degrees within an hour, according to a Stanford University study. UAN has compiled a chart showing how the weather outside affects in-car temperatures over time

Dogs can only withstand a high body temperature for so long, and prolonged exposure to heat can lead to nerve damage, heart problems, liver issues and death, according to UAN.

So, if you plan to travel with your dog, make sure to keep the windows down or the air conditioner on, and try to avoid leaving your dog in the car while you run errands. 

Also, summer time brings out more than just families and tourists — fleas and ticks thrive in warm, humid weather, too. According to the FDA, you should treat your dog for fleas and ticks at the start of the summer and check him or her weekly for infestations.

Finally, while I sort of doubt it offers any sort of health benefit, all-natural dog ice cream exists, and, if my dog's reaction is any indication, it's delicious. He tried the peanut butter and honey flavor of Nature's Variety Sweet Spots, which contain whey protein and are 98 percent lactose-free. You can find them at pet stores around Montgomery County.

Alexis Raymond July 05, 2011 at 08:27 PM
Thanks for spreading the word about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars! Alexis Raymond, United Animal Nations (now called RedRover -- learn more at www.redrover.org)

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