Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot!

Howdy, Dog Lover!

I know it’s been a while since you heard from us, but Noodle has been on Summer break from blogging.  Today, he jumped in my lap and told me he was ready to get back online and tell you how much he’s missed you!

 

This time of year, the most common question we get on the phone is: “What do you do with the dogs when its so hot?”  That is a great question, especially since we’ve been suffering from record-breaking triple-digit temps this summer.  We take heat stress very seriously, and constantly stay on the lookout for signs of heat stress in the dogs we care for.  Common signs are excessive panting and “belling” of the tongue–that is, the bottom of a dog’s tongue will expand so it looks bell-shaped, in an effort to cool the dog down.  Dogs don’t sweat like we do, so it is much harder for them to shed heat and stay cool. Keep in mind that a dog’s natural body temperature is about 100-102 degrees; in cases of extreme heat stroke, their core body temperature can climb as high as 110 degrees. Just as in people, a fever that severe can sometimes have lasting effects or even be fatal.

We also care for many dogs that are more heat sensitive than others. Short-nosed dogs (aka Brachycephalic dogs) like boxers, bulldogs, pugs and puggles are watched especially closely. The roof of their mouth acts like a radiator in a car – short snouts equal an inefficient cooling system.  Other dogs that overheat easily are the very large breeds, like our Pyrenees and mastiffs, as well as dogs on thyroid medications. Elderly dogs and those with heart conditions also have trouble with the heat as well as younger dogs. We keep an extra-close watch on these dogs when they’re here in summer months, and you will often see a well-behaved boarding dog spending time in the office when they need to be indoors more.

One of the things that makes DogBoy’s extra special is that the dogs we care for get to play outside in playgroups, hand-picked by staff who are trained in dog behavior. On an ideal day, that means they are outside for a full day’s play, whether they are here for daycare or boarding.  But your dog’s safety is our top priority, which means on days when the temperature or heat index is close to 100 or hotter, they can’t play outside all day without overheating.

So what do we do?

Well, when it’s this hot outside, we have to change things up a bit.  DogBoy’s kennels have always been designed to keep the cool in with reflective roofing and 4′ thick concrete slabs that hold on to the earth’s temperature.  We also have air-conditioned kennels, so dogs have a comfortable place to cool down.  To take advantage of the cooler times of day, the dogs get playtime in the morning.  And we start early!  We get the AC going in the kennels around 10 am, and when it starts to get hot around mid-day we bring the dogs inside for a rest and cool-down period. On days when we have lots of dogs on the property, we may also bring dogs into the office or to our beautiful and spacious Training and Wellness Center. After cooling off, we let the dogs out for potty breaks and shorter, supervised hikes.  While on hikes, we turn on the sprinklers and hose dogs down to help cool them off.  When boarding numbers are high, we limit day care, so everyone has dedicated space to cool down.

Our hard-working kennel staff makes sure that there is fresh, cool water in the buckets and kiddie pools, placed in the shade so your dogs can have a refreshing drink and cool themselves off with a splash if they want to. Our team refreshes these water sources again mid-day so that when the dogs come out after their rest break to play, they have plenty of clean cool water.

Thanks again for your questions, and keep ’em coming.  We want you to travel worry-free, and enjoy your time away from your dog, while at work or on the road, with confidence that we’re taking care of all the details.  Enjoy these last few weeks of summer and we’ll see you again soon!

Stay cool,

DogGirl

 

P.S.  For those of you who want to know more about our old friend Mr. Blue, the pawthor of True Blue Leadership, who will be visiting DogBoy’s for an official Book Signing and Pawtography Event Tuesday, September 27th, check out his video:

By | 2017-08-25T10:30:07+00:00 August 19th, 2011|Articles & Info, dog boarding, Dog Wellness, DogBoy's Staff|0 Comments

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