A Pawsitive Place: Long Hot, Hot Summer for Dogs

It has been a hot and humid summer so far. We are going from our air conditioned homes, to air conditioned cars to air conditioned stores or offices. Many of you probably keep your animals in the air conditioning and only take them out early in the morning or after the sun goes down. But not all pet owners are able to or willing to do the same.

This is a way of reminding all of you to leave your pets at home when it is hot. Just think how hot your car is after you have been in a store or, lets say 5 or 10 minutes. Can you imagine how bad it is for a dog? There have been a few incidents in Kutztown that have had to be reported when people have left their dog in an enclosed car in this heat.

If at any time you see an animal in an enclosed car, Weis and Giant have the same policy,take down the license number and make of the car and bring it to the service desk. They then page the information. When the owner shows up, the manager will ask them to take their pet home. If the owners refuse, the police are called. Depending on the situation an owner can be charged with neglect or cruelty.

Please try not to take matters into your own hands. You may be the one charged. So keep a cool head and report the situation.

According to PETA, On a 78 degree day, the temperature in a car can reach 160degrees F in no time.

Heat is very hard on dogs. First, they already have a body temperature of around 101 degrees.Second, they have fur all over them; and they do not sweat like we do, they pant and sweat through their paws.

Heatstroke happens in a short amount of time and can cause irreversible brain damage. It may seem at times Im a little militant about this issue but after I saw a dog who was left in a car in the heat had died, it changed my attitude forever. In some states you cannot leave your pet in a car no matter what time of year it is. So we can count our blessings here in Pennsylvania that at other times of the year we can bring our best friend or friends with us.

In addition to leaving a pet in a car, leaving our dogs outside for long periods of time is just as dangerous. Even if there is shade or a covering of some sort, with humidity there is no way your pet can get away from the heat. And the water you have for them will be warm in no time. Bring the dog inside, even if its just in the basement so he or she can cool off. Using cool towels and giving them cool water slowly will bring down their temperature. The other day I saw a small puppy outside by himself, yelping and crying. He was about 10-12 weeks old and never should have been outside in 95 degree weather.

The signs of heat exhaustion arerestlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid pulse, fever, vomiting, glazed eyes, dizziness and lack of coordination, according to PETA.

You can see a video on Youtube of a Veterinarian who sat in a car for 30 minutes as the temperature rose to 116 degrees. I suggest watching it.

Remember you have a dog because they are the best! You love them and they love you no matter what. They would give their life for you and your family. Please take time to care for them.

Susan Nazzaro owns A Pawsitive Place, a dog-sitting service in Kutztown.