With warm temperatures in full effect heat waves and humid climates among us, there are plenty of days that even reach as high as 115 degrees! Of course, these temperatures are rare to most unless you live in a desert climate like Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Arizona but let’s be honest it seems temperatures globally are rising year after year. What does this mean if you have pets exposed to this type of weather, sadly it does not bode well for our furry little friends. With extremely hot temperatures our pets are limited to outdoor exercise, and can NEVER be left in an unattended vehicle. In general, during the summer months, they may even need to spend most of their time indoors with proper air conditioning to avoid unwanted health conditions such as heat stroke. For those unaware of Heat stroke, it is a term commonly used for hyperthermia or elevated body temperature. Generally speaking, if a pet’s body temperature exceeds 103°F, it is considered abnormal or hyperthermic. Body temperatures above 106°F without previous signs of illness are most commonly associated with exposure to excessive external or environmental heat and are often referred to as heat stroke. The critical temperature where multiple organ failure and impending death occurs is around 107°F to 109°F.
So what does this all mean for our pets in the hot summer months and how do we prevent this from taking place before it becomes a serious health concern? First we genuinely need to consider our pets each and every day as we plan out our schedule. If you check the forecast and it shows well above normal temperatures it’s always best to take your pets for a vigorous bout of exercise first thing in the morning as well as in the evening time when temps drop enough for them not to be affected. As always be very aware of hot pavement or asphalt which can easily cause burns to our paws leaving them in distress and pain for days. Did you know that asphalt can reach as high as 125 degrees during a 75-degree day? More so if the temperature outside reaches 85 degrees the asphalt will grow to as high as 140 degrees! If you do take your pet outdoors for a quick walk during these rising temperatures make sure they are properly hydrated, choose areas with shade and grass and if for some reason they have to be exposed to rock, concrete or asphalt consider footwear which can help prevent, burns, cuts even avoiding frostbite in the winter months.
What about those of us who have pets that never leave our side? Always riding shotgun, rain or shine and are in constant need of being outdoors even in the hottest of temperatures? The animal lovers over at Ruff Wear are here to help pets everywhere with their life-saving Swamp Cooler Harness which is an all-in-one cooling solution for dogs that are exposed to hot conditions. Since dogs don’t sweat the same as humans, this cooling vest uses its three-layer Swamp Cooler™ Tech construction to absorb water and facilitate evaporation. It’s that evaporation that helps cool the surface temp of your dog. Simply soak your pets vest with cool water, dip it into a stream or lake, or even pour water over it from your water bottle and away you go! The Swamp Cooler™ Vest works great for hiking, running, walking, and camping. In addition to helping keep cool through evaporative cooling, it boosts that cooling by offering the maximum amount of shade and thermal protection to keep your dog happy and healthy! How does the vest provide thermal protection you may ask? The material is rated at 50+ UPF protection (blocks 98% of the sun’s UV rays) so not only is your dog being cooled by evaporation the harness also acts to protect from the sun as well.
This state-of-the-art harness integrates their Swamp Cooler™ evaporative cooling technology with Ruffwear’s reliable multi-use body harness platform. Ruffwear’s signature strong leash connection points, high adjustability, quick-grab handle, and easy on/off features are elevated with cooling capability throughout the back panel and supportive chest/belly panel. So how do we know that these vests actually do what they say they do? A recent study done in Australia was performed to show the efficacy of the cooling vest by testing a dog’s temperature with and without the vest after playing for 5 mins in the direct sun. With an outside temperature of only 77 degrees F, the test was done to show how even on a day that wasn’t extremely hot a dog’s temperature could definitely rise to an unsafe level. The original temperature with no cooling vest before play was 101.48 F, they ran the dog for 5 mins and the core temperature rose to 106.7 F. At this point the dog was taken inside, crated and monitored to see how soon the excessive panting went away as well as the temperature returning back to normal. Without the cooling vest it took the dog 30 mins to stop excessively panting as well as 50 minutes to return to normal temperature. The second test was then performed with everything exactly the same, the only difference was putting the cooling vest on the dog after the exercise in the sun and the proof was in the pudding. This time it took 20 minutes to stop hard panting and only 30 minutes to return the temperature back to normal. It is also noteworthy to state that the test was done by adding the cooling vest after outdoor play so it is safe to say that if your dog wears the vest while playing you can expect even better results. All in all, we are so happy to report that our pups themselves own a Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler Cooling Dog Harness and are living their best life no matter where we travel.