By Peggy Jo Goodfellow, Arizona Farm Bureau: As the cooler spring weather gives way to the hot summer months, you'll be spending more time outside with your dog, walking and playing in the sunshine. But while you are having fun, you will need to keep your dog cool to protect him from heat-related illness and injury.

Most people don't think about their pets getting sunburned but they certainly can. White and lightly-colored pets can suffer sunburn just as we can if they experience too much exposure to the sun. Long-term sun exposure can lead to skin damage and in some cases skin cancers. Limit the amount of time your fair-haired pets stay in direct sunlight.  

Heat Injury
Heat injury occurs when a dog's body temperature exceeds his ability to cool himself. Unlike people, your dog's normal body temperature ranges between 100 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When body temperature elevates above 106 F, normal cooling mechanisms are overwhelmed, which results in a serious condition requiring medical treatment. 

Certain breeds are more prone to heat injury than others. Large double-coated breeds like the chow chow are particularly susceptible. Dogs bred for life in cold climates such as Malamutes, Huskies, American Eskimos and Newfoundlands often have little tolerance for heat and humidity. Dogs with shorter faces such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Shar-peis and Boston Terriers have less ability to cope with a heat load due to their short and narrow respiratory systems.

Remember, heat stress can happen quite rapidly, sometimes only in a few minutes, especially in dogs that live primarily indoors.

Farm Bureau members are fortunate have a member discount with USAPetMeds on medications, supplements and all pet and livestock care products.

Editor’s note: For more information on our member benefits go to Arizona Farm Bureau’s member benefits page online. Or, download the Member Benefits app to your smart phone for easy, everyday access to your benefits.

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