Help your pet beat the heat

Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I love 80-degree weather, and this week has made the memories of below-freezing temperatures from the past few months begin to fade. But as a dog owner, I often have to remember how quickly my 35-pound dog can overheat.

His dislike of drinking during playtime makes it even more difficult to keep him safe now that summer-like temperatures have arrived. But I always try to provide him the basic necessities he needs to stay cool on days like today.

According to the ASPCA, there are some simple precautions pet owners can take to safeguard their pets as the weather heats up:

  • Pets get dehydrated much quicker than we do, so give your pet plenty of fresh, clean water.
  • Provide a shady place for them to cool off if you plan to stay outside for extended periods.
  • During walks, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt; it can burn their sensitive paws.
  • Never leave your pet in a parked vehicle.
  • Pay attention to your pet and take note of the warning signs of overheating, including excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor and collapse.

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Another danger some dogs face has been a hot topic in Suffolk recently.

Tethering has been known to cause behavioral problems in dogs, according to opponents, and sometimes dogs that are tethered are also not given adequate water and shade to survive summer in Suffolk.

Thanks to the hard work of Councilman Mike Duman and many other citizens in Suffolk, tethering has been banned in the city. But the ban won’t be in effect until Sept. 1, meaning some dogs in the city face long, hot days in the summer sun.

Whatever side you come down on regarding tethering, not providing shade or water to dogs that spend their days outside is just plain wrong, and it can end in the dog’s death.

This time of year should be a time of fun for you and your dog. Taking a few simple precautions will guarantee that you or your dog can enjoy the spring and summer months.