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Summer Heat

by Sam Mazzotta

Dear Paw’s Corner: Yesterday, our beloved corgi mix, Shemp, was laid to rest. I feel so guilty. He passed from heatstroke after being out in the backyard for just one hour. I never realized that just the heat outdoors could be deadly to dogs. I always was conscientious about dangerous situations; I never once left Shemp in a hot car or walked him on hot sidewalks. Yet a few minutes of inattention, and my Shemp was suddenly in great distress. I rushed him to the veterinarian, but he just didn’t make it. Please warn your readers to keep their dogs inside on hot days and to monitor them closely for signs of heat stress.
—Devastated in Houston

Dear Devastated: I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Shemp. Thank you for warning other readers of the dangers of summer heat.
Being outdoors during the extreme temperatures that we’ve experienced this summer, often passing 100 degrees in many states, is dangerous for dogs and other pets.

Here are a few ways to keep them safe from heat injury.

  • Walk dogs before sunrise and after sunset. Under a hot sun, sidewalks can quickly burn a dog’s paws, and heat and humidity can take a toll on their health.
  • Do not leave pets outside unsupervised. Even if they’re just in the backyard, you might not notice their distress until it’s too late.
  • Provide a shelter from the sun. A shelter with open sides and a solid top allows airflow and protects from the sun when your dog is outside.
  • Make water available all day, everywhere. Carry water on walks, keep their indoor bowl full, and provide a water bowl outside.

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