The Southern Climate and Your Lab
It gets hot in the summertime here in the United States, especially in the South. Our customers live primarily in the South, specifically Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Some say it is a special kind of heat. Especially when it comes to your Lab puppies, this heat is no joke. Keeping some simple tips in mind can help your British Labs (or any pet) live a longer and happier life.
First, do not leave your Lab puppies or adults labs in the car! Your car is essentially a greenhouse and the temperature inside can escalate quickly. Within 30 minutes the interior temperature can rise by as much as 30 degrees and a car’s interior can get to about 175 degrees, which is hot enough to bake cookies.
Your Lab keeps cool by panting and as the air gets hotter all they are doing is accelerating how fast their body temperature rises. Heat stroke and brain damage can set in in as little as 10 minutes. No gallon of milk or quick chat with a friend is worth that. Cracking a window does not help and even parking the car in a shady spot only delays the inevitable!
Unfortunately, too many pet owners do not heed the warning and their beloved pet dies because of their negligence. Thankfully the public is becoming more and more aware of this, but it still happens.
When you go outside during the summer months you tend to sweat. It keeps you cool but you need to keep hydrated. Your Labrador is no different! If you are taking your dog out for a walk or just to let them play, make sure that you have plenty of water for the both of you and if you leave your Lab unattended in the yard, make sure that you leave water out for them.
Also, make sure your Labrador puppies and adults have a shady spot that they can get out of the sun. Yes, it may be 100 degrees in the shade during the summer but it is still the shade and as any southerner knows, not all 100 degree days are the same. Humidity plays a big factor in any one, man or Lab, overheating so keep that in mind.
Inside the home either make sure that the air conditioning is turned on or your Lab has a fan that it can lay near to keep cool on a lazy southern day.
If you leave your Lab out in the yard unattended it would be best to have them on a leash. Your Lab is a curious animal and it is not hard to hear stories of dogs running off and getting lost. On a hot summer day this could be deadly so keep your Lab leashed and keep an eye on them, especially if you are in unfamiliar surroundings. Some go so far as to have them microchipped so they can be more easily identified should they get lost and there are even GPS tracking devices for pets.
Your British Labrador will still need its regular walk, so when it comes to a hot summers day in the south try to take walks in the cooler times of the day, that is early in the morning or later in the evening but still don’t forget to take some water with you. It can still be plenty hot so it is also best to keep walks from getting to be too strenuous. Also try to avoid walking on hot surfaces like asphalt or metal as it can burn your Lab’s paws and quickly at that. An article at WebMD.com's Pet's area says:
Before you head out for a walk, touch the pavement. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog's paw pads.
Asphalt can get to over 140 degrees and some metals can get to 150 degrees!
After spending time outside make sure that your Lab has a way to cool off. That may be an air conditioned house or it could just be a cool stream or a blast from the garden hose. You could even give your Lab their very own doggy pool. Your pet has a nice fur coat that keeps them insulated from the elements but in the extreme heat of a hot southern day, well, you put on a fur coat and see how you like it. Consider also getting a haircut for your dog if they have long hair as this can help to keep them cool. A complete shave is not a good idea as your dog’s skin is much more susceptible to sunburn then yours is so it is best to leave some hair.
As with all dogs that spend any time outside, it is a good idea to check for ticks, fleas and other parasites regularly and proper veterinary care is important to keep them free and clear. The second point in an article at Pet Health Network says:
If not protected, your dog is at risk for heartworm, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a host of other nasty and dangerous conditions. And don’t forget, many of these diseases can be caught by people too!
Bathing your British Labrador can go a long way towards preventing parasites or discovering them and getting your Lab the treatment they need. This is especially important during the summer time when your Lab will spend more time outside and when the parasites are more prevalent.
While the southern states including Alabama, where we have lab puppies for sale, and the surrounding states of Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee share similar climates, many of the cautions can be relevant anywhere. Comment to let us know your tips for keeping YOUR Labrador happy and healthy no matter where you're from!