THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER - DOG SAFETY PSA
(Public Service Announcement)
By Shana Lynn Yao
Yesterday I spent the day with two of my friends and former clients, Chris and Christian at their dog boutique and daycare D.O.G Pet Boutique. As a dog lover, my life revolves around my own dog Harlow and helping our 4 legged besties that aren't able to fend for themselves, with friends, clients, and mentors all passionate about helping our 4 legged friends. In addition to spending my life working with spcaLA and raising over $50,000 for them in my past career, my life continues to introduce me to new opportunities involving dogs.
After adopting Harlow, she introduced me to my mentor and friend Marc Ching, of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation and has impacted so many areas of my life from what I do for a living, to my interest in holistic health (for humans and dogs) and of course, developing a deep understanding of how to holistically keep your dog as healthy and happy as possible.
And as we shift into (literally) the dog days of summer, the heat is rising and as an advocate for dog health and safety - I felt compelled to share some reminders of how to keep our furry friends safe during the hot summer months. I can't emphasize the importance of taking precautions for your dog's safety (you can read more about why I am such a strong advocate about it after my own dog died in a car accident here).
In life, you rarely get a second chance and personally, my dog's life is too precious to risk. So please make sure to take these precautions and share with others as a daily reminder of what to watch for (reference spcaLA).
- Water to prevent dehydration: Plenty of clean, cool drinking water is a must at all times.
- Protection from the sun: If your pet must stay in the yard, instead of the cool indoors, be sure he has adequate shade and ventilation.
- Park your pet at home: Never leave your pet in a parked car, not even for five minutes. It could cost him his life. The temperature in a parked car can soar to 160 degrees within minutes, even with the windows left slightly open. What to do if you see an animal in distress in a locked car.
- Emergency Care: If a pet is overcome by heat (detected by excessive panting, is heavily salivating, and/or immobile) immerse him slowly in cool water to lower his body temperature, then contact a veterinarian. Never immerse a pet in ice cold water, it may cause him shock.
- Keep Pets Groomed: Clip long or matted coats short to help your pet stay cool, but remember that pets, like people, can get sunburned too and coats should not be TOO short.
- Health Check: Carefully go over your pet’s body at least once a week to check for fleas, ear mites and tiny bumps or cuts. Bring your pet to the vet for a summer check-up and use a good flea and tick repellent recommended by your vet.
- Fleas: Fleas need to be attacked on three fronts: on the pet, in the home and in the yard.
- Exercise: Exercise pets in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.
- Prevent Burns: Dog pads burn easily, so avoid hot surfaces such as asphalt on hot days.
- Identification: With the hotter weather, families and their pets are outside more often, increasing the chances of a pet getting lost. Make sure your pets always wear proper identification.
Other precautions to take note - just because it is hot or you feel like you want to give your dog a "sweet treat" -anything with sugar, milk, or sugar substitutes (xylitol) is bad for and sometimes TOXIC for dogs. Avoid artificial sweeteners, grapes, raisins, chocolate and other dangerous foods which could actually poison your dog.
And one last precaution on dogs and hot cars. Your car is the equivalent of a hot oven in the summer. Even if it is a comfortable 60 degrees outside, a closed-car interior can reach 100 degrees on a sunny day. At 73 degrees a car can heat up to 100 degrees in ten minutes and to 120 degrees in just 30 minutes.
***It is not LEGAL to break into a car in Los Angeles if you see a dog suffering in a locked car. So take personal responsibility for your loved ones and (wink wink) feel free to show how much you love dogs by possibly saving a life this summer.
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