Drowning and heat stroke claim over 12,000 dogs each summer! How to prevent tragedy - and emergency drowning or heat stroke treatment.
HEAT ALERT – CAN YOUR DOG SWIM?
E. Katie Gammill, AKC Judge Exhibition Editor, TheDogPlace.org / September 2011
Every summer dogs drown in swimming pools, rivers, or lakes. Dogs may instinctively know how to swim but if panicked or handicapped…
Drowning or heat stroke claims over 12,000 dogs each summer! Learning these safety tips and emergency treatment can prevent tragedy. If you have a swimming pool, introduce your dog to the pool in brief increments. First, take him to the area where there are steps. Allow your dog to go in and out with you until it understands.
Pets frequently drown in lakes or swift water on camping trips. Dogs like to fetch and play in water. Even so, older dogs, heavy coated or heavy bodied dogs tire easily, even if they are excellent swimmers. The Bully breeds find just keeping their head above water is difficult due to their broad chests, heavy bodies, and short legs!
Being a sheltie breeder, I wanted to know the effect the double, long coat had on the sheltie’s ability to swim. While at a friend’s house, I took my dog in their pool and stayed with him. He SWAM, however, as his coat became saturated, he sank lower and lower until only his nose was above water. He was WATERLOGGED and had I not been there with him, he would have drowned. There was no place for him to get out of the water and with his coat, could he have managed to do so? NO! Therefore I do not run my dogs near water and I do not encourage them to play on the bank.
BOATING AND WATER SAFETY FOR YOUR DOG
life jackets or water wings are available online or at your
local pet store. You and the kids wear life jackets because
accidents can happen. The same applies to your dogs.
EMERGENCY TREATMENT FOR DROWNED DOGS
If you find your dog in distress, especially if he is still in the water or has just emerged, hold him upside down with legs in the air and shake him, taking care not to pull a muscle in the process. Lay him down and turn his mouth sideway, pull the tongue forward and sideways to allow water to escape. If he seems unable to catch a breath, pump his chest and resuscitate him as you would a person. Lower temperature and heart rate is expected as water is in the lungs. If he doesn’t quickly breathe and come around completely, take him to the nearest veterinarian. It may take several days of treatment to save your dog. It may require oxygen, fluids, and medication, and a big checkbook, not to mention the guilt felt for failing to insure the safety of your dog.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A PARKED CAR
Not even for a few minutes during the summer. If you find your dog collapsed with heat, immediately hose him down, starting with the feet, up the legs, groin and belly. Even if he seems okay, TAKE HIM TO THE VET TO PREVENT OR TREAT FOR INTERNAL ORGAN DAMAGE.
Make this summer a fun time you, your family, and your canine friend.
Related information on how a dog’s thermostat works and additional tips to get you and your dog through Dog Days & Heat Stress