The Dog Days of Summer Bite, Now Your Dog May Too

As summer temperatures rise, it could signal an increase in dog bites toward people. A recent study published by Scientific Reports found that the number of dog bites toward people rose when temperature and UV radiation also increased. Does this mean you should be worried? Recognizing the signs of heat stress, and when to seek help, can help you and your dog stay safe this summer.

How climate change may increase summer dog bites

Climate change has an effect on global temperatures, leading to greater extremes in the hottest and coldest seasons. As temperatures rise, it puts extra stress on the body, such as an increased chance of heat stroke, which can lead to higher levels of anxiety and aggression. The study in Scientific Reports found that there was a correlation between these two variables, with an increase in dog bites up to 11% on the hottest days.

But, the news isn’t all bad. The study also found that there was no major correlation between increased pollution, measured by PM2.5, and dog bites. It further postulated taking measures to reduce aggression toward people, as well as keeping your dog cool and calm during the hottest months of the year, may help.

How to help your dog beat the summertime heat

It’s a good idea to have a plan in place to keep your dog cool this summer. This is especially important if you live in a hot climate. Avoid walks during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, try to go on a longer walk at dawn or dusk when temperatures are lower but visibility is still good. Avoiding hot pavement or placing dog boots on during walks can also prevent your dog from burning their paw pads while out in the heat.

During the hottest parts of the day, make sure your dog has a cool, shaded place to relax. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water at all times. A mister or even a bandana soaked in cold water can help. As the water evaporates, it reduces body temperature and keeps your dog cooler. Stay alert for signs of heat stress. These include excessive panting, reluctance to move, vomiting and diarrhea, confusion, or sudden aggression. If you spot signs, it’s best to seek veterinary care right away.

When to speak to a trainer about canine aggression

If you are dealing with an increase in aggressive behavior, it’s best to speak with a trainer or behaviorist in your area. Working with a trainer can help give you the tools to recognize when your dog is uncomfortable and may bite. It can also help your dog better learn to navigate high-stress situations or avoid acting aggressively. Be sure to look for a trainer that is experienced in dealing with canine aggression toward people or pets.

The increase in heat doesn’t have to lead to aggression or a dog bite this summer. By taking steps to keep your dog cool and calm, you can help ensure they stay happy and healthy. Want to learn more? Read about the signs of dog aggression toward people. Or, learn more about the differences between dog trainers and behaviorists.

Adblock test (Why?)

Powered by WPeMatico