There arenít many things that everyone in San Pedro agrees about, but no one would argue with you when you say ĎItís hot!í. It has been very warm the past couple of months and it looks like we may be in for a long and very hot summer. While we seek out the shade and drink ice cold drinks to cool us down, we need to remember that our furry friends feel the heat just like we do. The only difference is that they depend on us to provide them with shade and fresh, cool water.

Recently, a family in San Pedro suffered the tragic loss of their much loved dog. Why? Because they didnít realise that dogs can suffer terribly in the heat. Their loyal pet followed them on a journey along San Pedroís dusty roads one afternoon. He seemed enthusiastic to run and stayed with them as he often does on their journeys, running along beside them.

What this dogís owners didnít realise was that dogs often place their loyalty above their own health and welfare. They believed that if the dog became too hot or tired, he would rest or find a drink. Sadly, it was too late before they realised that their beloved dog had overheated and he died.

Remember that in the hot sun, your dog may be even more uncomfortable than you are. Heís wearing a fur coat, after all. It is best not to exercise your dog during the hottest hours of the day Ė between 11am and 3pm. If you have to take your dog out during this time, make sure that you give him breaks in the shade and have plenty of fresh drinking water available.

Dogs do not sweat like humans do, so they can become overheated very quickly. If your dog is panting, you know heís hot. Make sure you provide shade for your dog during these hot Ďdog daysí of summer and have a plentiful supply of fresh water available to him at all times. Never leave him tied up in the sun.
Keep an eye out for the symptoms of heat stroke, which can include any of the following: heavy panting, dark red and dry gums, lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up, collapse and/or loss of consciousness, thick saliva and dizziness or disorientation. If you think your dog has suffered from heat stroke, there are things you can do to help save your dog.

1. First, move your dog out of the heat and away from the sun right away.
2. Begin cooling your dog by placing cool, wet rags or washcloths on the body - especially the foot pads and around the head.
3. DO NOT use ice or very cold water! This can make the situation worse.
4. Offer your dog cool water, but do not force water into your dog's mouth.
5. Call or visit your vet right away - even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye, so an exam is necessary

Have a cool canine Ė not a hot dog!

If you are worried about a dog that may be over heating or suffering from heat stroke, call SAGA on 226 3266 for further advice.