Listening to your pets during the dog days of summer

Before they reach that point, dogs will instinctively show their owners ways to keep them cool
(Brandon Tvrdy)
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 11:08 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Your animals know it’s hot, maybe too hot. So listen to them, since dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes.

Before they reach that point, dogs will instinctively show their owners ways to keep them cool.

“I don’t do anything, she controls it herself,” Brian Peska said of his 8-month-old dog Pepper. “She’ll run over there, and jump in that pool, she probably drinks more water than she drinks at home, she knows when to cool down.”

It’s easier at parks like Dewey, where Piper dunks his ball and keeps it cool. Pups like Zeus and Whiskey can rough house soaking wet and find plenty of shade when they need to.

“He loves the water,” Theresa Borkowski said of her 9-week-old Whiskey. “Earlier today he ran straight from the door and face dived into the water.”

Six-month-old Leo loves Aksarben, but there’s no water park at the Canine Courtyard Bark Park, which is open and large, with plenty of water bowls and a covered porch area.

His instincts take him straight to the water bowl, but he doesn’t drink too much at once, which veterinarians say is important. Then Leo finds his way to the shade, which is a way of saying it’s too hot for him in the sun and time to cool down, and maybe go home.

When you’re on the trails, in the yard or walking on sidewalks, remember dogs regulate their body temp through panting and their paws.

“You don’t want their paw pads, obviously, to blister, because they do blister kind of like human paws,” Borkowski said. “The water really helps with that, and so does the turf, because it’s really aerated.”

Billy likes to just find water anywhere to cool his jets, but sometimes the dogs need our help when they overheat, just like people do.

You can use a wet towel or bandana and sprinkle it over your dog. You can turn a wet hose on them, but beware some dogs might be frightened. And always check the temperature of the water coming out of the hose, since it’s likely been heating in the sun.

And when it’s time to go home, you may want to pick up a cool treat for Cozy and Bear Bear. Long Dog Fat Cat in Omaha even makes their own puppy ice cream treats.

But the chef reminds us to make sure whatever treat you give them that it’s made for dogs, not for people.

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