Tucson Summertime Dog Safety Tipsby Karyn Zoldan on Jun. 20, 2012, under Dogs, Canines, Fun with Fido, Barking Encouraged, Pet Health & Safety
Summertime and the livin’ is easy, not so much if you live in Tucson.
Today may be the first day of summer on the calendar for the Northern Hemisphere, but we have been suffering through these super hot temps for some time.
A few weeks ago, a reader wrote and asked if I would remind people not to walk their dogs when it’s hot because dogs burn their paws. Good advice.
Last year I was driving down my street during midday in 100-plus heat and there walked a woman pushing a baby in a stroller with a golden retriever puppy at her side. I questioned her sanity. The puppy kept jumping up on her and she kept pushing the dog down. So I pulled up to the curb, got out of the car, and said, “Miss, your dog is jumping on you because her paw pads are burning.” She just glared at me. I continued, “If you took off your sandals and walked on this sidewalk, you would realize how hot it is.” She just glared at me. Then I mumbled something about the heat and the baby and drove off.
Here are some tips to keep your dogs safe this summer
–Dogs, like people, should not be out in the heat of the day without proper shade and adequate water.
–Don’t exercise your dog when it’s warm. The dog is trouble when staggers and falls, rapid breathing, red gums, thick saliva…that’s heatstroke. You have to act quickly to save his life.
–Dogs can get sunburned just like people, especially on the nose, ear tips and any spots with exposed skin. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Use sunscreen that is safe for dogs.
–Keep your dogs out of parked cars even for a minute.
–You can trim your dog to be cooler in the summer, but do not expose the skin. Do not shave your dog’s coat, because it can lead to sunburn and skin cancer. A dog’s coat actually provides insulation from the sun and heat.
–Paw pads can be sensitive to hot pavement, avoid. Use Paw Balm which may help soothe and condition burnt or cracked pads.
–Dogs should be bathed after swimming in salt water or a swimming pool to avoid dry skin and coat. Make sure your dog knows how to swim before allowing him to or worse throwing her into a pool.
–If you’re taking the dog on a road trip, do not strap him to the top of the vehicle in a crate like a certain presidential candidate did with his dog Seamus, aka “Crate-Gate.” Dogs, like kids, should be safely, and comfortably sequestered inside the vehicle. Never tie up dogs (or allow to be loose) in the back of a pickup truck.
For some reason I cannot get this song out of my head:
Summertime and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high
Your Daddy’s rich and your Mama is good lookin’
So hush little baby don’t you cry.
While my dogs give me unconditional love, they do not appreciate my singing. There have been more than 25,000 recordings of Summertime, according to Wikipedia. Some of the more notable ones are Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Gene Vincent, Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Janis Joplin & Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Zombies, George Benson, Billy Stewart, Norah Jones, and American Idol season-3-winner Fantasia Barrino whose rendition is regarded as the best American Idol performance of all time.
Now for your listening pleasure, Janis Joplin sings Summertime
(Photo is courtesy of HSSA – Roxy #721324 – 1.5 Years Old – Boxer – Female
“Roxy is a gleeful girl with the perfect amount of energy and a magnetic personality. Roxy loves tossing around her toys and joining you for walks, but knows how to relax for a good afternoon nap. This brindle beauty was brought to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona when she jumped over the 4.5 foot wall and her owners decided to tether her (Tie-outs are illegal in Pima County and the City of Tucson). When a concerned neighbor asked about Roxy, the family decided that they didn’t want her anymore. So Roxy’s new friend and guardian angel delivered her to the Humane Society for the chance at a better life. Now Roxy is enjoying the luxuries of indoor living in staff offices. She’s a delightful guest, too – house-trained, happy to greet visitors and usually plopped on a dog bed with a toy in her mouth. Although she adores humans, she can be a little picky about her dog friends. So please bring your pooch with you for an introduction and ask to meet this very special dog.)