You’d better believe it! Heatstroke in dogs is far too common in the summer months, and it’s our job as pet parents to be fully attentive to our furry friends’ physical limits.
According to Dogs Naturally, your dog’s normal temperature is between 100 degrees and 103 degrees F. A dog will start to experience heat stroke at 105 degrees F. Any higher and organ damage is at risk.
These are common signs of heat stroke:
- Panting heavily
- Dry or bright red gums
- Thicker drool than normal
- Loss of balance
If you notice these symptoms…
- Move your dog to a cool place.
- Wipe her down with a damp rag or drape a cool, damp towel over her body.
- Pay attention to her inner thighs and stomach where there are more large blood vessels, and on the pads of her feet.
- Try to get her to drink some cool (not cold) water, but slowly. If she gulps down too much too fast, she may vomit, which won’t help the situation.
- Once she’s cool, take her to see your veterinarian for an exam to ensure that there’s no internal damage.
It’s easy to assume that just because you’re comfortable, your dog is too. Most of our dogs can’t handle the heat as well as humans, so just keep an eye out during extreme weather to ensure your dog isn’t overdoing it.
Some dogs are at higher risk than others.
If your dog is older, overweight, short nosed, thick-coated, low-energy, out of shape, doesn’t drink enough water, and/or has underlying diseases, he or she is at a higher risk for heatstroke. In addition, the following breeds tend to be at greater risk:
- English Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- Boston Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Chow Chow
- Overweight Golden Retrievers
- Overweight Labrador Retrievers
Tips to keep your dog cool
- Keep your animal indoors if possible.
- Your pet should never be left in your car for any length of time.
- Walk early in the morning or later in the day when it’s cooler.
- Make sure there’s a shady area if she’s outside playing in the yard.
- Remember that her paws aren’t protected from the hot asphalt, so choose grassy surfaces if you can. If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s definitely too hot for your dog’s paws.
- Keep your house cool. Leave windows open, ceiling fans going or the A/C on.
- Walk with water and let your dog drink as you go. Let her take frequent breaks to cool down, and make sure she has access to cool water when she’s in the yard.
- Provide your dogs with access to water at all times.
No matter what your pet is eating, supplementing raw bones into your pet’s diet can have seriously good effects on dental health. Both cats and dogs can enjoy this delicious, biologically-appropriate treat, but it’s important to select the right bone for your pet. We’re here to give you some guidelines on choosing the right raw treat for your furry friend.
Poultry Necks for Cats
Raw bones help keep your cat’s teeth clean and her gums healthy, but it’s especially important to give your kitty the right kind. Poultry necks are the best choice for a cat, and can play an integral role in their dental hygiene.
Necks are made up of cartilage, ligaments and tendons that act as a form of natural dental floss, while chewing the muscle meat can also help keep teeth clean. The process of grinding and crushing the cartilage actually massages the cat’s teeth and gums, cleaning away food residues and helping eliminate tartar development. This, in turn prevents plaque formation, bad breath, dental cavities and gingivitis.
Poultry necks also provide your cat with nutritional support:
- The calcium in raw necks is more digestible than most common calcium supplements.
- A chicken or turkey neck has a calcium/phosphorus ratio of about 1.75 to 1.00.
- Poultry necks contain protein, potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium, and manganese.
- They give cats a much-needed external source of arginine, an essential amino acid.
Because poultry necks are made of cartilage, they’re soft and spongy rather than hard. At the Barkery, we have a variety of poultry necks available from Rawsome, OC Raw, and Primal. Although these poultry necks are fairly large, we recommend cutting them into smaller, easy to handle pieces. While our finicky felines are less likely than dogs to gobble down an entire hunk of neck, it’s best to avoid bones of a size that will tempt them to swallow without chewing.
Introducing Poultry Necks
Start small with poultry necks, but cutting down the size to a piece that is slightly bigger than your cat’s mouth. As your cat gets used to handling and chewing on the necks, you can increase the size of the pieces.
Some cats will go into overdrive at first sight of a poultry neck. Our little carnivores instinctively know how to crush and chew a bone. It’s a good idea to get kittens started young with poultry necks so their teeth stay healthy.
It might be difficult to get some adult cats eating bones if they’re not used to fresh meat or already have bad teeth or a dental problem. If your cat displays any discomfort with raw necks, the issue may involve a great deal of tartar and gum recession, and may be time for a dental check with your veterinarian.
If your cat remains unimpressed with your new and wonderful idea, entice her by sprinkling a little tuna juice on the necks the first few times. You can also sprinkle the necks with dry powdered liver or catnip, or rub some canned food on them. A finicky feline may require a few attempts, but don’t give up!
Raw Bones for Dogs
A variety of bone types are generally fed as part of a raw diet. Even if your dog is not on a raw diet, supplementing raw recreational bones containing meat, marrow, and cartilage can satisfy nutrient needs, entertain your dog, and have a major impact on dental health!
Raw bones can provide hours of entertainment for your pup. If you’re worried about the mess, you can feed raw bones inside or outside. If you are feeding inside, it’s best to train your dog to eat it in a particular area, such as on a towel or in the kennel, so that it’s easy for you to wash down the area when feeding time is over.
Choose the Right Size
You must choose the right-sized bone for the right-sized dog. It’s not always as simple as small dog/small bone or large dog/large bone. Observe the way your dog chews and ingests a bone. An 80-pound golden retriever might daintily savor and nibble a chicken neck, while a Pomeranian might try to swallow it whole.
It’s best to choose a bone that is large enough that your dog will not be able to swallow without chewing. After all, the purpose of feeding a raw recreational bone is to clean the teeth.
Introducing Recreational Bones
If your dog is new to recreational bones, it’s best to introduce them slowly to prevent digestive upset. We recommend feeding the bone for about 10-15 minutes, then taking it away. Wait 2-3 days and try it again, but allowing your dog to chew on it for 5 more minutes. Increase the time increments slowly to ensure your dog’s gut is healthy enough to digest the rich nutrients.
You should never cook or microwave raw bones or poultry necks. The benefits of eating bones are greatly reduced by cooking them, and it can actually create dangers. With raw poultry necks and bones, cooking them renders them tougher and more brittle, which means they’ll likely break apart into larger chunks more easily. Your cat or dog may swallow a piece that’s too large to digest, necessitating a trip to the vet.
Broken teeth can occur when feeding bones. Long bones such as femurs are quite hard on the surface, which can result in teeth breaking with aggressive chewers. Flat bones, such as bones found in the spinal column, ribs, pelvis and shoulder, are a better choice for medium to large size dogs because they’re much softer and harder to clamp down on.
Don’t leave raw bones to dry out. They can become brittle and chip, or cause a tooth fracture if your dog continues to chew on them. Let your dog chew on them for a day or two, then toss them in the garbage.
Eating large amounts of bone can cause constipation in dogs. You might see white or yellowish, powdery stools or even yellow, runny stools. It’s important to check on your dog to make sure he’s gnawing on the meat and not chomping down too much bone. If your dog eats more of a bone than intended, just feed him more meat and less bone for the next couple of meals. This will balance out his minerals, including calcium and phosphorus.
Always supervise when you’re feeding a raw bone. This is especially important in multiple-dog households. When a delicious raw meaty bone is present, the behavior of your dogs may change from friendly to aggressive and protective. Many pet owners choose to feed raw bones in separate locations when multiple dogs are present.
Feeding raw bones is an easy way to manage dental health, provide nutrients, and entertain your pet for hours. Imagine your dog having a nice afternoon in the sun, chewing a healthy and delicious treat. You’ll find that your dog is tired and happy after spending the day with a bone, and his belly will be full, too!
Summer is a great time to get out and about with your dog, but outdoor excursions in the heat have quite a few risks for pets and humans alike. There is a lot of buzz about educating pet owners about the dangers of leaving your pet in a hot car, but many guardians forget one important detail: hot pavement will burn a dog’s paws.
It can be tempting to bring your best friend with you everywhere you go, but it can cause serious harm to your dog if you’re not careful. It only takes a few moments on blazing hot asphalt for your dog’s paws to be injured, blistered, or cracked.
The 10 Second Rule:
Put the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it there for 10 seconds it is too hot to walk. If the asphalt is so hot you could probably fry an egg on it, then it can burn your dog’s feet. Also keep in consideration that certain dog’s pads, especially puppies are not as adaptable to heat and may not be able to stand even temperatures you can.
Be mindful of hot surfaces – asphalt and metal (boat docks, car or truck surfaces) – and walk your dog in the shade or in the grass, early morning or later evening is best. Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. It’s a good way to keep your pet’s feet cool while loading up the car.
Burned Pad First Aid
It’s important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem, flush with cool water or a cool compress if available.
Get your dog to a grassy area, or carry him if possible. At first chance, have your vet examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters, and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed.
Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important in avoiding infection. Licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew or ingest the sock.
If you are walking your dog this summer, it can be helpful to condition his paw pads using Paw Balm. The Barkery best seller is 4-Legger Organic Healing Balm, which quickly sooths rough, irritated, or chapped paw pads. Although this paw pad conditioner helps to keep your dog’s feet moisturized, it is not made to withstand over 100 degree temperatures.
Bottom line – if the pavement is so hot you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot, your dog doesn’t want to either!
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