Please Be Cautious in the Heat!

Hello, readers! I’m here today with a quick reminder and a stern caution.


It’s more than warm enough to kill a dog left in a car.
It’s more than warm enough to kill a dog if it’s over-exercised in the heat.

Overweight pets are at MUCH higher risk for exercise-related emergencies. I’ve had to put 2 dogs to sleep in the last 2 days because they were obese, overexerted in the heat, and went into a type of respiratory failure. Neither dog could breathe through its swollen throat.

As you start enjoying the warm weather, remember these helpful tips:

Have shade available.
Have fresh cold water available. Carry a bottle and a bowl for your dog and give small amounts often.
Limit exercise to the cooler parts of the day (early and late).

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR. PERIOD. It’s too big a risk to take. Heat can be rapidly fatal.

Be safe out there!



Filed under exercise, obesity, respiratory, weather

4 responses to “Please Be Cautious in the Heat!

  1. David

    I can barely begin to imagine how awful it must be for you, to have to euthanise a basically healthy animal for something as simple and avoidable as overweight and overheating. No wonder you want to warn people away from it!

    Might it be helpful to make another post that will help dog owners distinguish between a hot dog and a dangerously hot dog? For example, I’ve timed a certain malamute’s panting at 5.5 breaths per second after a walk in summer weather, but I’ve always assumed he’s okay as long as he seems alert and happy and he’s got the river to splosh around in and drink from, and as long as the walk isn’t longer than 40 minutes or so. But maybe I’m wrong about that, or maybe there are danger signs that aren’t obvious to me or other pet owners. Advice, as ever, thrice welcome.

  2. You’re right that it basically does come down to me euthanizing a pet that would otherwise have been healthy and had no problems were it not for the obesity. The flat truth is that obese animals aren’t healthy, no matter how well they seem to be doing. Both of these cases were also dogs that hadn’t been in to see is in at least 3 years. What really gets me is that people seem surprised to hear that there are consequences. If dogs got coronary artery disease, I’d be a millionaire just from selling lipid-controlling drugs. Thankfully they don’t!

    The idea about a post to help distinguish a hot but temperature-regulating dog from a heat stroke victim is a good one. It’s a fine line and a difficult thing to distinguish without taking a temperature. Doing that regularly just isn’t practical for anyone, least of all the dog. I’ll see what I can turn up! Thanks for the idea! 🙂

  3. David

    By now it must be just about technologically and economically feasible to embed simple biometric sensors, such as a thermometer, into the RFID chips that we already embed in our pets. Then it would swiftly become possible to have continuous real-time dog-monitoring, naturally with an accompanying smartphone app.

    Do you want to patent that and make ultrabucks, or shall I? 🙂

  4. You go ahead! 🙂
    I don’t know enough about the tech in the RFID chips to know if the power from the scanners’ signal would allow for that kind of monitoring/transmission. It may be a question of size, too. How big is the temperature measuring bit? Those chips already have a honking big needle for insertion. Just wouldn’t be fair to make it any bigger. o.O

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