How to care for pets in the heat

Spice of Life column by Brenda Mallory for the week of July 1.

Where does it come from? Common sense I mean. Are we born with it or is there a chance we can learn something as we age?

I mention this after speaking to a young women out walking her lab-type dog. With such sadness she told me why the dog had a bandaged foot it was unable to walk on. What happened?

She had taken the dog on a bike ride. They went around an area that had some paved road as well as gravel. The heat from the pavement burned the dog’s pad. She took the dog to the vet. One foot was very bad. The other feet didn’t look that great but they were healing. She now walks the dog on the grassy trail. She has learned a lesson and has asked me to remind all dog owners how difficult it is for animals in this heat.

Make sure you supply fresh cool water. Water gets very warm and a bit stinky. Make sure the animal has a shady place to be. If a dog is tied up where the sun shines make a lean-to with plywood.

Dogs cool themselves by panting. If you have a short muzzled dog watch them carefully since they have more difficulty getting cool.

If your dog gets overheated you will be able to tell from the rapid panting, increased heart rate, lethargy and other unusual signs of stress. If your animal is suffering from the heat you can apply ice packs to the neck area or a cold wet towel.

I am sure Fido loves to go for a car ride. I guess I have to mention it is not a good idea to drive around with a dog in the car. Can get hot very fast. This issue is right up there with leaving a child in a car on a hot day.

I have not discussed cats but they seem to manage a bit better. I keep mine in the house during the day. As I write this on a hot day my dogs have been let out of their compound to find a cool place. I have a plastic kiddy pool filled with water . They can drink from it or sit in it. Other containers have fresh water added during the day. If I do close them in the compound I have shade as well as a fan blowing at ground level. Cools them a bit as well as getting bugs to move  on.

It is just that old thing called common sense. If you are seeking a cool place to sit and have a cold drink, take your best friend with you.

I have to mention a very big tick I found on a dog I was looking after. The tick was quite large having attached itself behind the ear. The dog had been given medication but obviously is doesn’t always work. Check your dogs.

Thanks to the young lady and her injured dog for suggesting this topic.

I appreciate your calls about the birds. Keep calls coming to 250-846-5095. An email or a picture shows up at

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