We are currently having some brutally hot and humid weather (New Jersey) and it is making me think of all the dangers when it comes to our dogs and exercise.
I walked Breezy early this morning before it got too unbearable, and we saw one of our neighbors walking his son's Lab, named Bailey. We see these two almost every day on our walk and always stop to chat and let the dogs sniff each other, etc. Even though it's his son's Lab, it is my neighbor and his wife that seem to take care of him (walks, etc.). Their son looks to be about mid-to-late 20's. As we were talking this morning and complaining about the awful heat, my neighbor ( Sam ) tells me about how his son took Bailey to the beach yesterday and how many other labs were there, and how much running around and swimming they all did, etc. etc. etc. It was BRUTALLY HOT yesterday!! Sam also then goes on to say how Bailey must have swallowed a lot of salt water because he was acting really lethargic after the beach, and wouldn't even eat his dinner. I wanted to say something so badly but wasn't sure what to say or how to say it without sounding condescending. I like my neighbors, and Bailey is a great dog and I would hate to see anything bad happen to him due to the ignorance of his owner. (The kid seems a bit clueless about owning a Lab.) However, I DID say "Wasn't it a bit hot yesterday to be on the beach with the dog? That sun was relentless and it was hard to even breathe with all that humidity." And Sam responds, " Well all the dogs were in the water a lot and the water temp was still pretty cold." Isn't it still dangerous to let your dog play so hard like that in that kind of heat, regardless of the temp of the water?? I wouldn't even think of bringing Breezy out in that scorching sun, water or no water to swim in. Then Sam goes on to say how his son wants to shave Bailey for the summer because he is shedding like there's no tomorrow. I'm not trying to put my neighbor or his son down. They seem to really love Bailey, and they seem like nice folks. They just seem a little uninformed. I know I'll see them again on our walks, and I would like to offer some important advice that might be very much to Bailey's benefit. What should I say? Or should I just mind my own business? Part of me says to just butt out. But then I worry about Bailey. Any advice? Thanks. Sorry this is sooooo long!!
I would probably take them out to swim but still not keep them out real long maybe a half hour at most. Also make sure they have fresh water to drink because the salt water will dehydrate them pretty qickly if they are drinking it.
I would probably say something about shaving him though let them know they are actually cooler with their hair. Suggest taking them to the groomer for a good bath and brushing if they don't want to do it themselves to help with the shedding.
NO SHAVING! Tell them that dogs get sunburned without the protection of their coat. Ditto on the suggesting that they take him to a groomer for a bath, most groomers do a special bath for shedding dogs. Swimming is good in hot weather, but the hot sand would not be good for his paws so that should be kept to short time periods. The actual owner is probably clueless about what is and isn't good for a dog, so gently educating the parents is an excellent idea.
The actual owner is probably clueless about what is and isn't good for a dog, so gently educating the parents is an excellent idea.
My thoughts exactly.
I agree with all of the posts so far. Don't forget to tell them that a shaved Lab will usually end up shedding more, not less and will more than likely have a very poor coat from then on.
I know the ocean temperature was around 59 degrees and would keep the dogs fairly cool, but that is quite a shock in 100 degree temperatures like we're having. We all know that given the chance to swim, Labs will take it and not self regulate their activity.