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Six Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool

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What To Do If You Think Your Dog is Heat Stressed

The normal temperature of a dog is 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit . You should worry if the temperature is 105 degrees or above. You can use any human oral thermometer in the dog; place it two to three inches into the rectum for a minute.

If your dog is overheated, you should provide them with plenty of drinking water. Put cool water over the entire dog to help bring their body temperature down. If there is a limited amount of water, you should wet the ear flaps and the feet first. An alternate liquid that can be good for cooling purposes is rubbing alcohol.

Next, you need to take the dog to your veterinarian immediately. If your dog has heat stroked, there are other treatments that need to be performed other than just cooling him with water. 

Many areas of the world are seeing record high temperatures, which makes it even more important to ensure that your pets are kept cool. Veterinarians commonly see dogs with heat stroke, but most of these cases could easily have been averted with some easy precautions.

The following six tips will help you keep your dog cool:

  1. The best method for keeping your dog cool is to simply allow him or her to stay inside a house with air conditioning.  Dogs want to be part of the family and almost always enjoy being inside.
  2. If your dog must be kept outside in the heat, one tool to help keep your dog from overheating is a child's small hard plastic swimming pool. Place it in a shaded area of the yard and fill with a few inches of water. Your dog can drink from it, walk through it, or even lie in it.
  3. Misters are another good tool which can be installed on your patio or any shaded area of your back yard. These emit a fine mist of water that your dog can use to keep cool.
  4. Another trick is to take large plastic jugs such as milk containers, fill them with water and then freeze them.  Place outside in an area where your dog usually stays, preferably in a shaded area.  Behind the ice-filled jugs, place an electric fan so it blows across the ice and creates a cool breeze for your dog.
  5. Of course, never leave your dog in a car without the air conditioning on.  Even in relatively mild outdoor temperatures, on a sunny day the environment inside the car can get dangerously hot in just a few minutes.
  6. Never leave your dog tied to a tree or a post. A common scenario is for a dog to keep circling the tree, winding the rope shorter and shorter until it is caught close to the tree trunk. As the sun moves across the sky, eventually the dog is in the full sun, and not able to reach its water bowl to try to help keep itself cool. Heat stroke can quickly ensue.

If your dog is heat stressed, it will be panting heavily, with its tongue hanging out long and wide. This increases the surface area of the tongue and allows for more evaporation to happen, which helps keep your dog cool. Another symptom is the color of the gums will be a very bright red or sometimes a muddy color. If you notice any of these symptoms, take action immediately! Cool down the dog and call your veterinarian for further instructions.

Heat stroke in dogs is usually easily preventable. Using these tips will let you enjoy hot weather safely with your dog and may even save your dog's life!

Exclusive Offer

Return of the Rattlesnake Vaccination!

South Valley Animal Clinic is excited to announce the return of the Red Rock Biologics Rattlesnake Vaccination!  This vaccination is great for dog's planning on hiking, camping or just exploring the bosque.  Please call our office for scheduling or more information (505) 873-2590. 

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South Valley Animal Clinic Joins PACA's New Public Spay/Neuter Program

We are excited to announce our support of the 'Fix the 505' program.  Fix the 505 is a small scale FREE spay/neuter program for low income pet owners.  PACA (People's Anti-Cruelty Association) selected a few local veterinarian clinic's, including South Valley Animal Clinic to participate in this necessary program.  Please watch the short video above or visit http://paca-aar.org/index.php/donate/sponsor-a-spay for more information!

06/01/2015 UPDATE

This program has been restricted to South Valley residents struggling to spay or neuter their pets.  In order to get your pets scheduled, please request a PACA Voucher from The Animal Humane Society or from a Bernalillo County Animal Control officer .  Please call (505) 255-5523 for more information!

Testimonials

Dr. Heite and the rest of SVAC staff, Thank You! From the bottom of our hearts for your AMAZING care for our dogs. You're an awesome team, and we trust you above anyone else to provide immediate, compassionate, and reliable solutions. We cannot begin to thank you for going above and beyond to help Sissy. We know she has an amazing medical team. 

With heartfelt appreciation, Sanchez Family
Albuquerque, NM

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