Serving Northern California & Nevada
We, as humans, enjoy being comfortable. Why would we not assume the same is true for our dogs? The fact is, dogs can suffer from an array of undesirable — and sometimes lethal — side effects from exposure to high temperatures. Today’s focus is on one common side effect: heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion may occur in a dog who is exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time. According to the American Kennel Club (“AKC”), “Heat-related canine conditions can also become life-threatening without immediate treatment. Overheated dogs can suffer heat exhaustion, heat stroke or sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias.” In addition, it is important to note that short-snouted breeds (i.e.: French Bulldogs, Boxers, pugs) are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion.
Signs of heat exhaustion may include the following:
- Excessive panting
- Bright red or blue gums
To help ensure that you keep your dog safe from overheating, make sure your dog has plenty of shade and access to water when your dog is outside in warmer temperatures. Small kid pools are also great for helping water-loving dogs beat the heat, as they can submerge themselves in the water to cool down. Further, do not leave your dog outside in the heat for prolonged periods of time. If you need to leave your house for a while, crate your dog in your home so he or she can benefit from cooler temperatures.
NOTE: Though many of us enjoy taking our dogs for a “joy ride” with us on errands around town, it is best to leave your dog at home during warmer days if your errand-running involves leaving your canine companion in the car without the AC running.
Do you have an insecure dog? Signs of an insecure dog:
- Tucked tail in new environments
- Cowering or crouching down in fear when he meets new people
- Shakiness/jitteriness in response to certain stimuli
If you observe any of the above behaviors in your canine, you may have a dog who suffers from insecurity. Let’s discuss one way to help boost your dog’s confidence: dog tricks!
What dog-lover doesn’t enjoy a cute dog doing fun dog tricks? Teaching your dog to perform dog tricks is a fun, stress-free way to show your dog how to earn praise and food rewards, and gain confidence simultaneously.
A great dog trick book that I absolutely love is one authored by Kyra Sundance – “101 Dog Tricks.” In this book, Kyra illustrates (with great photos, courtesy of Kyra and her all-star Weimaraner) how to teach 101 different dog tricks to your canine family member, including the how-to on encouraging and manipulating proper positioning, as well as proper timing for rewarding with praise and treats.
Trick-training provides mental stimulation for a dog and can combat anxiety in a dog by giving him a “job” or something to do other than focusing on his fear and anxiety. As your pup learns that he can earn praise and food rewards by mastering each trick, you are aiding him in building confidence!