Summer Itches and Winter Runny Noses

by Lauren Lovan, Grant and Communication Specialist, Yavapai Humane Society

It’s that time of year when colds are spreading like wildfire among us, but what about our dogs? At the Yavapai Humane Society, we sat down with one of our vet techs and got the scoop on what to watch for during the winter and summer months.

Kennel Cough

In winter, the sickness that most threatens our pups is kennel cough. Kennel cough consists of:

  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • runny nose

If your dog is demonstrating these symptoms, then it is best to get him or her to a vet right away as kennel cough when treated only lasts one to two weeks. Left untreated, it can last up to a month.

Heat Exhaustion

In the summertime, watch for heat exhaustion. Some simple steps to take to combat this are:

  • Avoid taking your dog for a walk or hike if it is too hot outside.
  • Do not let your dog get overly excited/energetic as this causes its body temperature to heat up.
  • Make sure your dog is staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and spray it with a hose to cool it down.
  • Apply sunscreen if your dog has thin or little hair or the skin is fair. You can check by looking at the color of the skin around the eyes and nose. If it is pink, then your pet has fair skin. Apply sunscreen to the exposed skin on your dog’s body as well as the nose.

When to Bring Your Dog Into the Vet

The best thing to do when your dog expresses signs of illness (such as lack of energy, vomiting, aggression/doesn’t want to be touched) is to stay calm and watch them for about a day. If the situation resolves itself then most likely there is nothing to worry about, but if it doesn’t, then it’s best to bring your dog into your local vet’s office.

The ultimate guard against dog illness is really knowing your dog’s personality and the characteristics of its specific breed. Oftentimes, breeds such as bulldogs sound as though they are congested but they are not. Again, as long as you know your dog, the two of you will be just fine.

Yavapai Humane Society wishes you and your dog good health! Make sure to donate today at to help us keep all the animals here, healthy, too.