He just stopped eating. Given Ralph's food fixation, something was clearly wrong. The mercury was moving towards triple digits--it was clearly time to close the windows and pay tribute to the electric company. The kids were thrilled, and soon the dude in the permanent fur coat was back to his old begging self.
Had our hot pup not responded quickly to the drop in temperature, Plan B might have included some of these tricks:
1. Cool compresses to the paw: Dogs and cats don't sweat, so the human method of self cool-down isn't available. Help nature along by applying cold wet cloth compresses to the paw area. It's like doing the same to the back of your neck. Watch out for sunny asphalt during walks. Ever tiptoe gingerly through hot sand? Tender paws can be burnt quickly by a short walk through a burning hot parking lot. Slip a foot from the flip-flop and give the pavement the toe test before stepping across with FiFi in tow.
2. Tepid bath: If the pet is droopy and listless, try a quick cool down in a tepid bath or a fine mist from the garden hose. If Jomo doesn't revive quickly, get him to the vet, pronto.
3. Hydration: Fresh water is critical and should be a constant. Toss your hot dog a couple ice cubes to lick in the heat.
The best cool down method is prevention--short summer haircuts, fully filled bowls of water (inside and out) and a child's plastic pool of cool water in the yard all help Mr. Nibs beat the heat.
Above all, NEVER EVER leave a pet in a closed vehicle in the heat, even for a short jaunt into the grocery. The temperature inside the vehicle can reach the heat danger zone in less than five minutes. Elaine Greene Executive Director of the cautions "Our biggest concern is people leaving their pet locked up in cars"
Even slightly lowered windows don't help much at high temps. Best to leave Rufus home in the AC 'til cooler temps prevail.
For more summer cooling tips visit the Dearborn Shelter's site.
Ralph really enjoyed the frozen peanut butter pops.