Okaw Veterinary Clinic LLC

140 West Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953



Cool Pet Treats


Myth Busting Heat Stress in Pets
Five Ways to Help your Pet this 4th
Cool Pet Treats


Myth Busting Heat Stress in Pets

I had a call come into the office from a rightfully concerned business owner, witnessing two dogs closed up in a car. Most of the people I meet understand that leaving  a dog in a car AT ALL will be fatal. For those that don't, many people remove the dog or call the police who do have the authority to impound and press charges. Having water in a car, or yard is not good enough. Here are some facts to bust the myths and misconceptions about heat stress in pets.   

Myth - If they have plenty of fresh water in a big bowl, that will keep them cool.

Reality - drinking water replenishes thirst but does not cool them off. Dogs and cats cool off by laying on a cool surface to conduct heat away from the body. So they need constant cool earth that is in constant shade not  a dog house in the hot sun.

Myth - An outside dog is better off outside than to adjust to the indoors. 

Reality - If the indoors is giving the dog or cat what they need - cooling - the confinement will calm them not agitate them. So basements, garages with a concrete floor will be less stressful than the work they have to do to find cooling in hot weather

Myth - the little dogs and dogs with long hair have the hardest time in the heat.

Reality - the more dense the body - muscular large breed dogs such as boxers, bulldogs, pit bulls, Labradors, etc  have the hardest time. Older dogs, especially if they have collapsing trachea or heart problems also have a hard time and need have limited time outside in the day.

Myth - Riding in the back of a pickup truck is fine when it is hot - there is enough breeze to keep them cool.

    Reality - Air does not flow into the bed of the truck, and the amount of heat reflected back up on the body can double the heat load on a dog. Sadly, we had a fatality that was due to riding in the back of a pickup. Sit in the back of a pickup on a hot day with a coat on and see how warm it gets.

    Myth - panting cools dogs down fine.  As long as they can pant they should be fine.

      Reality - panting does cool a dog down to a point then it heats them up. It takes work to pant and that generates heat. It also dehydrates the dog. A dog cannot pant and drink enough to keep up with  the heat so soon they are panting excessively and overheat.

      Myth - shaving a long haired dog or cat will make them heat up more.

      Reality - the long hair insulates against the heat only for a short while. Both dogs and cats need to get in contact with cool surfaces to cool off. The long hair prevents the conduction to the cool floor so get long haired pets a hair cut - most certainly the underside and sides of the body. No matter how silly they look, the hair will grow back by fall.

      Myth - the shade of a building will be a good place to keep an outside dog cool.

        Reality - the shadow of a building is cooler, but there is still the reflection of heat off the building coming onto the dog that limits the cooling.  I have had cases where a dog overheated in the shade of a metal out building due to this heat reflection.   Allowing this dog inside an insulated building is far better than the struggle to find shade and cooling earth outside.

        These are some of the most common myths that my staff and I have encountered over the years of hot summers. Share this with your friends and neighbors. There are still too many pets hurting in the heat.

        We still have a bit of summer to go.



        Five Ways to Help your Pet this 4th

        The fireworks around the 4th of July can be scary for pets. Here are some tips to help your pet feel safe. 

        1. Play music with a heavy beat. Try tuning your radio to 92.5 The Chief or check out our suggested music.  
        2. Use Adaptil or Feliway around your house. These pheromones help keep pets relaxed. Check out our article about these products
        3. Practice your firework drill. During times with no fireworks, take your pet into a room without windows. Give your pet treats or a food puzzle.  When fireworks start, you and your pet will know what to do. Watch our video about storm drills.
        4. Use a Thundershirt. Not sure if it will work? Try a snug fitting t-shirt and see if it helps your pet.
        5. Talk to us about your pet. Supplements and medications can help your pet stay calm during fireworks.



        Cool Pet Treats

        Kitty Fishy Frozen Yogurt
        Ingredients: 1 cup vanilla yogurt (not fat free or sugar free), 1/2 can tuna. Mix yogurt and tuna. Put into ice cube tray, don't fill cubes full. Freeze tray.

        Kitty Fish Cicle
        Ingredients: 1 can tuna (or clams or sardines), 3/4 cup water. Mix water and tuna. Put into ice cube tray, don't fill cubes full. Freeze tray.

        Doggie Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt
        Ingredients: 2 cups vanilla yogurt (not fat free or sugar free), 1/2 cup peanut butter. Mix yogurt and peanut butter. Put into ice cube tray and freeze.

        Doggie Fruity Frozen Yogurt
        Ingredients: 1 cup vanilla yogurt (not fat free or sugar free), 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup chopped fruit (apples, strawberries, peaches, blueberries) (NO grapes or raisins). Mix yogurt, applesauce and fruit. Put into ice cube tray and freeze.

        Flavored Ice Cubes
        Ingredients: 1 can low sodium broth. Mix broth with water if instructions say to. Pour broth into ice cube trays and freeze.

        Okaw Veterinary Clinic
        140 W. Sale
        Tuscola, IL 61953
        (217) 253-3221


        Mon & Fri 8 am - 6 pm
        Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm
        Sat 8 am - noon
        Closed Thurs & Sun

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