Humans can easily accommodate to the rising temperatures outdoors. Like MOM probably told you repeatedly: stay hydrated, bring H2O (in a stainless steel or BPA-free bottle), slather on the sunblock, bring a hat, and wear light clothes. If the sun gets too bright, find shelter under a tree or make plans to go out during the morning or evening while the heat is bearable. Easy, right? Now what about your canine companion who's covered in hair and cools off by panting? If you're worried about his/her health, you have every right to be. Heatstroke should be taken seriously, especially with elderly and short-nosed dogs. But all that can be avoided with the proper preparations and precautions.
Just like people carry bottled water on bright and sunny days, they should bring portable travel pet bowls (or collapsible bowls) when hanging out with animal companions. Pack up on water before you head out and make sure you freeze the bottles or store them in a cooler- dogs and cats are very picky and dislike warm, stale water. You and Buster will be glad you prepped up when you gulp down that heavenly cool H20. Setting the bowl under the nice shade of a tree isn't a bad idea.
Now that we've discussed hydration, let's move to the next topic: cars. Most dogs love the ride- not only do they get to stick their heads out the window and watch tongues flap against the wind, but they also get attention from smiling drivers and see the wonderful world pass by in a flash. As long as you make sure your dog is safe (don't open those windows too much and get a dog car harness or booster seat! Car accidents also affect animals!), a ride in the family vehicle is A-OK. However, NEVER leave your barking friend inside, especially when temperatures get high. If you thought the heat outside was bad, inside the car it's ten times worse. That goes for everyone else as well. If you drive by a parked car with a hot pooch inside, look for the owner or talk to a store manager, guard, or call the authorities. Most people are misinformed or in a hurry- forgetting that a few minutes in a car can feel like an eternity.
Going for a walk is great for you and your companion. Taking a stroll cures cabin fever and allows you to exercise stiff muscles. Dogs also need their daily workouts! While many people believe paws are resilient to ANYTHING, the skin in that area is very sensitive. That's not an excuse to stay indoors, though: there's always grass or dirt. Tar and pavement can cause burns- so check Fido's paw-paws frequently. Having multiple shade spots is a must! Everyone needs a breather from ultraviolet rays! Even when you're back home, it's extremely important animals have a shaded corner to cool off.
Can't head out to the park? If you have a backyard (or any type of yard), bring out the water hose. You're not bathing the dog! By splashing some water on the panting pooch, you're helping the poor, hairy friend cool off. Just don't attempt this with a cat! A dampened towel will work just fine. When felines and canines figure out they're not in line for a scrub-a-dub, they'll be extra thankful. Want something more creative? Get a sprinkler or a kiddie pool. Just make sure there's no danger of drowning (pups and children should ALWAYS be supervised).
Last but not least, keep your companion animals healthy and well-groomed. The groomer doesn't need to shave off pounds of hair- a trim works just fine. A brush or two a day helps Fido feel more comfortable and saves you from having to vacuum hair from every surface in the house 7 days a week.
Still feeling weary about taking Buster outdoors? Provided he is small or you're strong, you can buy a doggie stroller or backpack. Go ahead, we know you like to spoil him!
Where: Nice, France
URL for more info:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37995504
WHO: The Companion Animal Protection Society ( www.caps-web.org), Santa Cruz SPCA ( www.santacruzspca.org), the Societé Défense des Animaux, and the official Mayor's Office of the City of Nice.
WHERE: Promenade des Anglais, seaside, across the street from the Negresco Hotel, 37 Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 30th, 7:15 PM
WHAT: Riviera Rescue ( www.rivierarescue.blogspot.com), CAPS, the Santa Cruz SPCA and Air France are conducting a historic rescue airlift of little death row dogs from Los Angeles animal shelters to Nice, France. This is the first such rescue ever to take place in France. The dogs were scheduled to be euthanized because of the American pet overpopulation crisis that is killing five million companion animals per year in our nation's shelter system. CAPS, the SDA, and the Mayor's office of Nice will welcome the L.A. dogs' arrival on the famous Promenade des Anglais in the heart of Nice along with French families who will be fostering the dogs until they find their adoptive homes.
This effort marks the internationalization of the Companion Animal Protection Society, which plans to expand its puppy mill and pet store investigations in Europe. CAPS claims pet stores all along the Riviera coastline are supplied by European puppy mills -- inhumane breeding factories. The Riviera Rescue airlift is a way to divert puppy mill sales on the Riviera and to promote adoption while saving lives.
"Given the crisis dogs are facing in California shelters, we have a moral obligation to act. Riviera Rescue is proof of the long friendship between our two countries. The people of Nice have opened their hearts to these little death row dogs and with this airlift, we hope to pave the way for a continuing international program to save lives." -- Carole Raphaelle Davis, West Coast Director, Companion Animal Protection Society
"Because of our spay/neuter ordinance, decreasing euthanasia over 70% in Santa Cruz County, Rescue Riviera was made possible -- saving dogs that were on death row from Los Angeles. Most people don't realize that pet overpopulation in the United States is an epidemic and innocent adoptable dogs are dying as they wait for a loving home. Until we have spay/neuter ordinances nationally, consider adopting a death row dog. Save a life." -- Lisa Carter, Executive Director, Santa Cruz SPCA.
Reprinted courtesy of MSNBC.