Keep Your Pets Safe This Summer

Many dogs drown every month in Arizona. Many other dogs need intensive care to survive. One veterinary emergency clinic in north Scottsdale sees at least four to twelve swimming pool deaths in dogs each month.

Not all adult dogs can swim. Small dogs who do not know how to swim may be unable to get out of the pool. They tire quickly and slip under the water.

Most drownings occur in four groups of dogs:

  1. Puppies less than six months old
  2. Elderly dogs, especially those with poor vision
  3. Dogs visiting unfamiliar houses
  4. Dogs with any history of seizure disorders

These dogs should never have access to a swimming pool

Some adult large breed dogs seem to cope well with swimming and with getting in and out of the pool on their own. But no dog is totally safe around a pool.

Prevention of drowning is the same as for child drownings. A separate fence around the pool (be sure puppies can’t squeeze through the bars) and constant supervisions of the dog when it does have access to the pool are the keys

If a dog does fall into a pool, the same type of CPR that is used on humans may be very helpful. If the dog is not breathing, mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose resuscitation is done with the dog’s head extended upwards. Sometimes the tongue has to be pulled forward to clear the airway. Rapid chest compressions over the widest part of the ribcage (with the dog lying on its side) can be done in addition to the breathing, if the dog is unconscious and does not have a heartbeat. CPR should be continued enroute to the nearest veterinarian, until the dog is breathing well.

Heat Stroke

Any animal can suffer from heat stress and it can be fatal to your pet when they are exposed to a combination of extreme temperatures, high humidity and poor ventilation.

Dogs and cats do not sweat to cool their skin like people do. Panting and radiation of heat from their skin are their main means of controlling body temperature

When the air temperature and humidity are high, and air circulation is reduced, these cooling mechanisms are inadequate. Body temperature can increase dramatically, resulting in collapse or sever shock. Animals not treated may dies.

Short-nosed breeds, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, and Boxers are especially susceptible to heat stress because their restricted breathing doesn’t allow enough air exchange for rapid heat loss.

Limit your pet’s exercise during hot, humid weather. Provide your pet with adequate ventilation, suitable protection from the sun and plenty of cool water. Never leave your pet in a closed automobile! Notify your veterinarian if your pet seems weak, has difficulty breathing or its general health changes.