The Dog Days of Summer: Pet Safety
Updated: Aug 7
The Dog Days of summer are the hot, sultry days starting in late July and continuing through mid-August. The Greeks and Romans named them the "dog days" because the constellation Sirius appeared to rise before the sun. These ancient hot days were thought to cause lethargy, fever or madness. We've all been there, right?
Your Pet Needs Special Care On Hot Days:
We're huge animal lovers at Be Green Pro so we thought we'd share a few tips of how we keep our four-legged friends happy and safe despite the heat.
Early morning, late afternoon, and early evening are the best times to walk your pet in order to avoid any harm the sun or heat could do to you or your furry companion. Always be sure to test the pavement heat with your hand so that your dog’s paw pads don’t get damaged.
A COOL COAT:
Did you know the fur of many dogs can trap cooler air and help them regulate their body temperature? Cutting it short can lead to overheating and sunburn. Take your dog to a reputable groomer and ask for a cut specific to your dog's breed and the season.
· Note: Generally, dogs with hair instead of fur benefit from shorter grooming (poodles and bichons)
By applying sunscreen for dogs, you can protect the exposed areas of their body such as above the nose, belly, abdomen, and groin from the harmful rays. Never apply human sunscreen to dogs since the different ingredients could harm them. Light-haired, pink-skinned dogs are more prone to sunburn. Ask your vet for recommendations on what product to apply, how much and when.
PROVIDE WATER AND SHADE:
Provide plenty of water and shade and keep your eye on the temperature to keep your dog from overheating. Some signs of overheating are: excessive panting, moving slowly, acting unlike themselves.
· Note: Brachycephalic dogs (pushed in noses) are at a higher risk for heat stoke because of their natural breathing problems.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN THE CAR:
Did you know that 31 states have laws against leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle?Temperatures inside a car can rise to a dangerous 117 degrees in 30 minutes even with all the windows cracked 1-2 inches and result in heat stroke or death. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) has a great chart on outside temps vs car temps. In Wisconsin, there are also laws allowing any person to rescue a distressed pet while protecting them from civil liability for property damage or injury resulting from forced entry to a locked vehicle.
Walks in nature are awesome for exploring with your pup and Wisconsin has many dog-friendly trails. In rural areas, it's important to keep an eye out for both snakes and spiders that can harm you and your four-legged friend.
Venomous Snakes: There are two venomous snakes found in Wisconsin, the Timber Rattlesnake and Eastern Massasuga. Both rattlesnakes are protected species and usually only attacked if threatened but who wants to chance it?
Venomous Spiders: There are two venomous spiders also found in Wisconsin, the Northern Widow and the Brown Recluse. Both spiders also only attack if provoked.
What are some of your favorite things to do with your pups during the Dog Days of summer? I'd love to know!
Burkert, A. (2020, January 1). Which States Make it Illegal To Leave Pets In Parked Cars. Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://blog.gopetfriendly.com/is-it-illegal-to-leave-your-pet-alone-in-the-car/
Lowrey, S. (2019, June/July). Cool Tips for Hot Weather Woes. Dogster, 37-67.
Null, J. (n.d.). Pets in vehicles. Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/pets-vehicles
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (2015, October 28). Retrieved July 02, 2020, from https://www.facebook.com/WIDNR/photos/creature-feature-1-venomous-spidersspiders-are-beneficial-predators-but-many-peo/1050211905043010/
Service, U. (2020, March 4). Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus). Retrieved July 02, 2020, from https://www.fws.gov/midwest/Endangered/reptiles/eama/index.html
Wisch, R. F. (2019). Full Title Name: Table of State Laws that Protect Animals Left in Parked Vehicles. Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.animallaw.info/topic/table-state-laws-protect-animals-left-parked-vehicles