Dog health this summer


Hot weather can cause heat stroke and even death for your dog if you don’t take some precautionary measures.  Animals suffering heat stroke may collapse or appear quite distressed, gums may be bright red and there may be excessive panting.  If your pet has collapsed you must seek veterinary assistance immediately.   Have some Rescue Remedy or Emergency Essence on hand to administer every half hour during such a crisis. 

Wet your dog down with cool water and get a fan going to circulate the air if the animal is indoors.  Long-haired dogs are bred for cold climates, so make sure that you brush their coats regularly to help thin out their undercoat.  In all cases make sure that your animal has plenty of shade and plenty of cold water to drink.

Commercial dry foods create internal heat.  Add more moisture with cooling foods such as green beans, spinach, broccoli, some peas and other green vegetables. 

Cooling foods include:  tofu, green vegetables and fruits.

Don’t exercise your dog during the heat of the day either.  Dogs don’t sweat, so too much running and too much heat can cause heat overload in the body.

On the other hand, if you have a dog bred for hotter climates such as a Chihuahua, then keeping them in an air-conditioned environment can cause collapse from being too cold.  You may want to feed this type of dog more heating foods such as chicken and lean meats if they are indoors a lot during summer, but don’t expose them to cold rooms.

I think it goes without saying that a dog should never be left in a hot car.  If for some reason you do have to leave your dog in the car for a short time, make sure the windows are open and you park in the shade.  Many dogs die every year because they are left in cars on hot days.  It is better and kinder to leave your companion at home on a hot day, and safer too.

Hot Weather Natural Fixes:

-          Ice cubes in water

-          Wet your dog with cool water, or soak in a cool bath

-          Feed cooling foods

-          Australian Bush Flower Essence – Solaris – apply orally every half hour to relieve distress associated with heat.  Also place drops in water bowl

-          Emergency Essence/Rescue Remedy on hand for all emergencies, while seeking veterinary assistance

-          Leave your dog at home on a hot day, with plenty of shade and fresh water to drink

-          Cold peppermint tea, or peppermint essential oil (2-3 drops) in cold water, is very cooling and draws out heat.  Soak some towels, wring out, and apply compress to pads of feet, abdomen and neck.  Repeat adding ice to blend to keep it cool.  Continue for 15 minutes, then gently pat your dog dry.

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Silva Mirovics is a fully qualified CMT practitioner.  She has a BHSc degree, Diploma in Therapeutic Massage and is currently studying Small Animal Naturopathy. Silva is a professional adviser on dog health and supplements.

Disclaimer: This article is designed to provide you with information and education on the wellness of your dog. We make no medical claims and you must consult your veterinarian if problems persist or arise. We take no responsibility for the health of your pet. We are not a substitute for veterinary care.

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