Our pets provide us with unconditional love, wonderful company, and even stress relief after a hectic day. Children learn responsibility with pet ownership, while developing nurturing and loving social skills.
Caring for dogs during the hot, dry Arizona summer months presents special needs. Most dogs like to be outdoors, but when the temperatures are 85 degrees or above, and there is little to no humidity in the air, it is unhealthy.
Dr. Mercola (Mercola.com, Health Articles) has stated that “Humidity, or the amount of water in the air is an important health variable that is easy to overlook – yet very easy to remedy. Ideal humidity (for humans and pets) is generally described as between 40 percent and 60 percent.” Phoenix and Tucson average around 14 percent, while Yuma, known as the least humid city in the US, come in with a measly average of 3 to 4 inches of precipitation per year.
First and foremost, water is essential to control body temperatures and for hydration. Just like pet owners drink water all day, pets also need access to clean, cool, drinking water.
Misting is another necessary form of providing moisture, especially in Arizona. Misting lines can be installed on patios, dog runs, kennels, animal shelters, barns, stables, walkways, and in gardens – just to name a few areas. It helps to inhibit upper respiratory illnesses in pets and their owners by eliminating dust (Haboob’s), airborne pollutants and contaminates. Also, a lack of moisture can cause skin irritation and eye problems. Dr. Mercola goes on to report that “by elevating the relative humidity in surrounding areas by misting, the immediate effects to the human and animal physiology is dramatically enhanced…” Misting can lower the immediate outdoor temperatures, such as on patios or near outdoor dog kennels, by 20 to 30 degrees.
Heat Stroke in Dogs
“Heat stroke is a condition that results from hyperthermia (an elevation in body temperature). This increase typically occurs as a response to a trigger, such as inflammation in the body or a hot environment. When a dog is exposed to high temperatures, heat stroke or heat exhaustion can result. Heat stroke is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Once the signs of heat stroke are detected, there is precious little time before serious damage or even death can occur.