Archive for Friday, June 26, 2009

Veterinarians warn residents to protect dogs from heat

Friday's 97-degree heat found many seeking the shade, but after finding this dog tied up outside Dillons, 3000 W. Sixth St., Skyler Houser, left, Patty Crain and Susan Bogart gave water and shade to the dog. Pet owners sometimes forget that summer’s high temperatures can be especially unforgiving to their pets.

Friday's 97-degree heat found many seeking the shade, but after finding this dog tied up outside Dillons, 3000 W. Sixth St., Skyler Houser, left, Patty Crain and Susan Bogart gave water and shade to the dog. Pet owners sometimes forget that summer’s high temperatures can be especially unforgiving to their pets.

June 26, 2009


Pets and heat: a dangerous combination

Veterinarians urge common sense and compassion when keeping pets outdoors in hot conditions. Enlarge video

Report neglect

If you see anyone neglecting an animal or an animal inside a car, you can report it to Lawrence Humane Society, 843-6835, or to the city’s Animal Control Division, 832-7509.

Dr. Mark Marks, a Lawrence veterinarian, reminds residents to keep their pets in mind during the dog days of summer.

“We’ve had some sad events where the dog went out and ran with the owner and then succumbed to a heat injury afterwards because they can’t physically dissipate the heat the way we, as humans, can,” he said.

Dogs and cats can only get rid of excess heat through their tongue, nose and foot pads.

“So, their cooling surface is a whole lot less than what we, as humans, have,” he said.

Marks said pets want to please their owners, so it’s up to the owners to be responsible.

Here are some heat-related tips from Marks and the Lawrence Humane Society:

• Dark-furred dogs or breeds with short-stubby noses, like boxers or bulldogs, tend to overheat more quickly. Shaved dogs can suffer sunburn and need protection.

• Try to do activities, such as walking and playing with a ball, in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.

• Avoid walking dogs on asphalt and cement because they retain heat and radiate it back upward. Instead, use the grass. Dogs are going barefooted, making them susceptible to burned footpads.

• Carry a water bottle or plan an outing where a hose or water fountain is nearby.

• Never leave a pet inside a car when temperatures are above 80 degrees. It’s against the law. A car in the summer can heat up to 200 degrees within minutes, and leaving windows open is no help.

“When we get up to 165 degrees, that’s the temperature that we finish cooking a turkey at. That’s when that little Butterball thing pops out,” Marks said. “So, they are cooking inside. They are in an oven.”

• Don’t leave dogs outside in the heat unless they are used to it. If dogs are left outside, make sure there is plenty of shade and fresh water. Be sure to stabilize the water bowl or check it frequently in case the pet knocks it over.

Lastly, Marks said, “Don’t ask your dog to do something that you wouldn’t do.”


divingdiva 8 years, 11 months ago

Thank you LJ World for printing this long-overdue information!! It's unfortunate that so many people don't use good, common sense judgment when it comes to the heat and their pets. Just remember people, if you're hot, imagine putting on a fur coat! The heat is WAY worse on your dog than you. In this kind of heat, dogs have no business going for your run in the middle of the day on scortching hot concrete or asphalt, they have no business in cars while you run errands and they definitely have no business on a boat with no shade while you stay cool in the water. Common sense folks!!! Use it!

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

Dogs are a very special gift to us people. they deserve care, and protection every day.

so often the loving devotion of a dog isn't returned.

your dog can't talk, think for him!

SusieCreamcheeze 8 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget your cats get hot horses are in the barn with the fans on them....

sustainabilitysister 8 years, 11 months ago

Thank you Lawrence Journal World for printing this. Could you please print this weekly or DAILY in the summer and relevant information in the winter as well? As media you tend to be a lot of individuals' only source of information.

yankeevet 8 years, 11 months ago

I have a 5 year old siberian husky; and he stays inside ALOT with air condition; and cold cold water..........

christy kennedy 8 years, 11 months ago

A long time ago while driving down the alley to our garage I saw a dog on a short chain behind a house, in full sun on a blistering day. I parked the car and ran back up the alley—the dog was desperately trying to just stay upright, bracing its legs and leaning on the house.

There was one metal dish, upside down and way out of the dog's reach and probably too hot to touch, but I found a hose, and the dog, though barely conscious, tried to drink the trickle of water. There was loud music coming from the house and nobody came to the door when I pounded on it. In the short time while I was at the door, the dog had collapsed. I started trying to gently cool it down with water but within seconds it was dead. This was a young, otherwise healthy animal who had been in agony and alone for hours, and probably suffered during every inclement day because it had no shelter whatsoever from the weather. (I'd never noticed this dog before and felt just sick because I would have intervened had I known.)

All of a sudden, the moron family comes out, kids and a mom, all decked out in swimming suits and inner tubes, headed for the pool. When I broke the news to them that their dog was dead it barely slowed them down. I controlled my rage and said why it had died, and the mom informed me that the dog was "fine this morning!" The kids were already in the car, and I told the mother that their neglect had caused the dog to suffer at length and die a horrible death, and if she thought an animal was "okay" just because it was alive at the end of another day probably meant she should never own a pet ever again and that was no way to teach children about caring for another living thing.

I called the Humane Society and by the time they could get someone over there this delightful family's father had come home and taken the dog's body somewhere and disposed of it. He claimed that it had just been sick and then died.

I called the LPD and the officer who came over told me I could press charges but that what would likely happen was that the creepy kids would, in his words, "slash your tires or something." I was 8 months pregnant with our first child and I foolishly agreed to let it drop. That still bothers me too.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 11 months ago

Christy, you did what you could. I just hope that family did not get another dog. I would worry about the LPD officer who told you that pressing charges would lead to your being attacked. Was he trying to scare you? Did he know those kids had done things like that before? Being 8 months pregnant you probably felt especially vunerable. If there is a good way to get peoples attention and actually get them to treat their dogs as though they were - alive- then I don't know what it would be.

Evan Ridenour 8 years, 11 months ago

I will be the first to call when I see a pet left in a car, I've done it MANY times.

cowboy 8 years, 11 months ago

When i go out to our farm all i see is cowheads , they are in the pond up to their necks....the horses line up at the water tank for hose fun , pretty silly seeing a line of quite polite horses waiting their turn to get sprayed down , they love it , have to move them along and they go to the back of the line to wait for a "second'.

mkatryn 8 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for doing what you could! Skyler, you have always been one of the good guys! Guess I'm not surprised that you have awesome friends!

christy kennedy 8 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, Irish. I couldn't tell if the officer was worried for us because of experience or if he was just trying to get out of some paperwork.

pissedinlawrence 8 years, 11 months ago

I was so mad 2 days ago when at a stoplight I saw this poor dog with LONG hair in the back of a truck panting away in the hot sun and I'm sure the truck bed was hot. While the owner had his windows rolled up, blasting the AC i'm sure. Look if you can't put your dog up front with you in the nice cool AC because of fur or whatever, leave your poor long haired dog at home!

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