Dog Friendly Tips: Your Tropical Dog - Special Care in Warm Weather Environments
People who live in the southern and southwestern areas of the country are accustomed to making adjustment to stay comfortable in the hot environment. Dog owners may be presented with special problems because their pets may not adjust as easily. If you have moved to a hot climate, keep these tips in mind to keep your dog both healthy and happy.
Dogs with short coats have the easiest time in hot climates. Their short hair is much cooler and does not become matted and troublesome under humid conditions. Longhaired dogs have a more difficult time staying comfortable in hot weather. Ask your groomer to clip the coat a bit shorter than normal for the breed. Also, ask the groomer to leave some hair between the paw pads so that the hot pavement does not burn them during walks.
Some dogs can develop a variety of skin conditions in hot, humid environments.
Bathe your dog on a regular basis to remove bacteria from the skin and follow with a thorough brushing. Give him a good looking-over to ensure that there are no fungus infections, redness, sores or other problems. If you find any unusual eruptions, consult with your veterinarian for a suitable medication. Dogs with allergies may have particular problems in hot climates where many plant allergens can spread through the air. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best medications and treatments to keep your dog comfortable. Apply a flea and tick preventative to your dog regularly to repel these pests that proliferate in hot climates.
Exercising your dog in the hot sun and humidity can cause severe overheating and even death. If you love being out in the heat, remember that your dog cannot perspire as you do. He must do all his cooling through the pads of his feet and by panting. Your dog can be overcome by the heat in as little as 15 minutes. If your dog becomes lethargic, uncoordinated, salivates profusely or vomits, he may have heatstroke. Apply cold towels to the head and body and get veterinary attention immediately.
Traveling with your dog can be a fun for you both, but when driving through areas with a hot climate, remember that your dog depends on you to keep him comfortable as you go. Never leave your dog in a hot car, not even for a few minutes. Allow the dog to stretch his legs and have a potty stop, preferably in some shade, every hour or two. Always carry water and a collapsible bowl when traveling with your dog. Bring along any medications he takes regularly.
In many areas, temperatures can rise quickly during the daytime hours. You may leave the house in the morning when it is quite cool, but by mid-afternoon, the temperature can be dangerously hot. Make it a habit to adjust the air-conditioning before you leave the house each day. If you have a computerized thermostat, set it to cool the house to a comfortable temperature as the sun heats up the interior during the day.
In some areas, taking your dog to the beach is as common as a walk in the park. Ensure that you do not allow your dog to become overheated as he romps in the sand and surf. Find some shade for a cool-down period after his playtime. Bring water and a bowl to allow your dog to hydrate.
Hazards From Other Creatures
Wildlife in hot climates can be dangerous for your dog to encounter. Scorpions that can sting, poisonous frogs, snakes and other creatures abound in these areas and can make your dog very sick or even cause death. Take the time to teach your dog to obey your "no" and "drop it" commands so that you can keep them safe when they meet up with these hazardous creatures.
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