Dear Readers: It’s the end of August, and the heat is on! Heatstroke can develop in a dog when its body temperature reaches over 104 degrees, and it can permanently damage body organs.
Can you recognize the signs of heatstroke in your dog? Here are some:
* frantic panting
* a bright-red or dark tongue and gums
* inability to stand upright
* diarrhea and/or vomiting
Suspect heatstroke? Get to the veterinarian immediately. On the way, use cool — not cold — water to cool the animal, and have the dog lick ice cubes. Rubbing alcohol on the footpads can help.
Do you know which breeds of dog are most susceptible to heatstroke? Bulldogs and pugs (short-nose breeds) and dogs with heavy and dark coats, as well as dogs that already have breathing and heart problems, can be the most likely to get heatstroke, although no breed is immune.
In fact, according to the Humane Society (humanesociety.org), high-energy dogs (for example, Jack Russells) may not know when to stop running in hot weather. Watch them carefully outside. And of course, heatstroke is the main cause of death with a dog in a hot car.
Keeping your cool, and your dogs cool, is critical during hot weather.
Dear Readers: After our pro-opossums hint, people have been sending in their opossum pictures!
Venida K. in Van Nuys, Calif., found this opossum in her yard during the day! She encourages the opossums because they keep the snails in her garden in check.
Dear Readers: This may sound wild, but how about starting your Christmas shopping now? Look around for big sales this time of year for back to school — there can be some great gift ideas lurking around in there too!
Create a gift drawer or closet. And if you have a surprise guest this fall, you’ll even have a gift for him or her!
Dear Heloise: Please let homeowners know to keep their home locked during a garage sale.
Thieves can take advantage of the busy homeowner and walk into the home and help themselves to items in the home. The thieves can even work in pairs or teams to make sure you are distracted.
Diane M., via email
Dear Heloise: I read your hints in The Bakersfield Californian. You suggested a list of items to give to the animal shelter, but you left off the most important ones: towels and blankets. My shelter cuts up blankets for the cages, and they use towels until they are rags!
In summer, the temperature gets over 100 degrees, and in winter, it is below freezing. The concrete gets really hot and really cold.
Kathy A., Bakersfield, Calif.
Kathy A., thanks for the hint. Bedsheets would be appreciated, too!