Don’t Forget About Dogs, Other Pets In This Heat

I spent a rare weekend at home — and, for the most part, indoors — and the photos I saw on Facebook of anglers baking in the heat on Lake of the Woods, which appeared to be flat as a mirror, didn’t make me regret my decision one bit.

Maybe it’s because I fish so much, but the comfort of the air conditioner seemed much more appealing than baking in the sun.

If we think it’s uncomfortable being outside in these conditions — even for short periods — imagine what it’s like for dogs and other pets, especially those with long, thick hair.

I was reminded of that this morning when I read a story from Michael D. Faw of the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance.

“Heat can take a toll on animals that are outside — even for a brief period of time when air temperatures soar,” Faw writes. “No hunter wants to lose a great hunting companion to heat or heat-caused stress.”

To alleviate the risk, Faw offered these tips, which are especially pertinent to hunting dog owners:

Keep your dog’s hair brushed, clean and free of burrs or have long hair clipped to help the animal stay cooler.

Exercise your dog during times of day when it’s cooler and the humidity is lower. Be on the lookout for overheating and don’t push the dog too hard.

Dogs kept outdoors should be kenneled in a shaded area that provides protection from the sun.

Make sure dogs have plenty of clean, cool water and change it daily, Faw writes, adding ice cubes or crushed ice also make good doggie treats.