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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Keep your pooch cool this summer

Many cities within Toronto and Quebec have been experiencing heat waves with temperatures of 32 C and up for the past 3 consecutive days and counting. Toronto is having its first heat wave this week since 2007.

While health officials are urging both provinces to keep cool by staying indoors, wearing light weight clothing, and keeping hydrated, FouFou Dog is reminding pet owners not to forget about the health and safety of their furry friends too.

We tend to forget about our dogs and their vulnerability to the heat especially in our eagerness to spend time outdoors in the company of our canine friends. Unfortunately, dogs do not have the luxury of sweating, like humans do, and so they overheat and suffer from heat stroke more easily than their masters. Some dogs are in more danger, especially those with pre-existing heart conditions, with heavy coats, black coats, or dogs with narrow nasal passages such as Bull Dogs, Boxers, Pugs, and Pekingnese.

FouFou Dog suggests some Do's & Don'ts to keep their pooches cool in this summer heat wave:

Do leave water plentily available for your dog.
Putting ice cubes in the water dish will help to keep the water cool and refreshing

Don't leave your dog unattended in a vehicle for more than a few minutes.
When the temperature is 30 C outdoors, the heat inside a car can reach up to 40 C

Do cool your pooch down by putting cold water on his chest, not his back.
Most pet owners automatically assume that if a dog is sitting under the sun, that putting cold water on his back will cool him down, but if his coat is thick or black, this won't do anything, but make him wet

Don't leave your dog on hot surfaces.
Dog owners do not realize that hot surfaces, such as, ashphalt or concrete, can cause serious burns to their pets paws on a hot, sunny day

Do use veterinarian approved sunscreens that can help protect dogs from harmful UVA rays.
Beware of human sunscreens because of their zinc oxide content. White muzzles, ears, and white dogs are more susceptible, especially Chinese Crested hairless dogs

Don't overfeed your dog.
The act of eating and digestion will increase its heart rate and metabolism which can contribute to raising the temperature of your pooch

Do recognize the early signs of heat stroke.
Watch for heavy panting, difficulty in breathing, unordinary breaths, and tacky saliva.

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