As Temperatures Rise, Dogs Can Lose Their Cool

As Temperatures Rise, Dogs Can Lose Their Cool

It is the heat of one of the hottest months of the year–the “dog” days of summer, as they are sometimes referred to. When the mercury in the thermometer goes up, so can the irritability of your pet, especially if it is a cool-weather breed (such as Samoyed or Alaskan Husky) that can have difficulty tolerating the high-digit temperatures. Many breeds can develop what are commonly referred to as “hot spots,” in moderate to high temperatures–a painful, nasty-looking skin condition where the hair in the affected area falls out and the irritated skin below is red, suppurating, weeping and oozing fluid and in general making the dog miserable. In fact, a pet that is ill or in pain may exhibit unusual behavior that includes aggression, and a bite can ensue–causing fear and pain to the victim, and embarrassment (and pain of another sort) for you, in the event the victim decides to pursue a dog liability insurance claim.

What can happen on a hot summer day

Bites can cost you a lot or a little; perhaps the victim is a friend who knows the pet, knows you, and is willing to just chalk up a minor snap of the teeth to “Fido was having a bad day” and no real harm done. On the other hand, the bite could cost you tens of thousands, as was the case with Caitlyn, whose off-leash Chow Chow (which, in its own defense), driven nearly mad by the record-breaking heat) bit a stranger on the hand when the man, who had been walking by, stepped near the dog’s owner (apparently too near, in the dog’s estimation). With a single bite, the man’s thumb and index finger were bitten to the bone; he needed three surgeries to repair the damage to the tendons and ligaments, followed by months of painful physical therapy. Caitlyn wasn’t surprised when she received notification from the man’s attorney, telling her she was being sued for nearly $80,000 to make up for the man’s medical bills and lost wages.

Contact an agent today

To reduce the likelihood of this happening, consider keeping your pet on a leash, a short tether, or use a muzzle when leaving the house. Keep your pet well hydrated to prevent it from becoming overheated, and never leave it locked in a car. Also, talk to a professional agent about purchasing dog liability insurance. This type of policy can offer you protection by covering the cost of court fees and settlements in the event a claim should occur. Your agent can tell you more.