Now that Summer is officially here, so are the days of the blazing hot sun, which brings along the risk of your pooch overheating and passing out of heat exhaustion. In more extreme cases, even death. So it is important to recognize your dog’s signals to prevent him or her from suffering from heat exhaustion or stroke.
Pulling towards shade, stopping to cool off in puddles of water, excessively lagging behind, the constant need to lay down, and panting.
Signs of Overheating:
Heavy panting, excessive thirst, glazed eyes, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, bright or dark red tongue & gums, staggering, elevated body temperature (104 degrees F and up), weakness, increased pulse and heartbeat, seizures, excessive drooling, and unconsciousness.
Dogs at Higher Risk:
Dogs not built for hot weather, sick and older dogs, flat faced breeds and any dog can be at risk if allowed to over-exert themselves or if left in hot conditions for too long.
What to Do and Not to Do:
Do recognize the early signs and know your dog’s limits. Allow him or her to cool off should they start to pull towards shade or seek out a means to rest.
Do not allow your dog to overexert themselves even if they look like they’re not phased as many working breeds will work themselves until they collapse.
Do bring fresh water for them to drink, but do not allow them to drink too much, too quickly, as it can cause their stomach to flip.
Do not give your dog ice cold water to drink.
Do pour water in your hand and rub down the top and bottom of their muzzle, their neck, underbelly and paws.
Do not pour ice cold water over their head as it can send them into shock.
Do soak a towel in cool water and drape it around your dog to help them cool off. For smaller dogs, use lukewarm water.
Lastly, DO NOT leave your dog in a car during the summer even if you roll the windows down. Dogs have a higher body temperature than we do so they heat up quickly, but also, a car can reach 120 degrees in 20 – 30 minutes even when it’s 75 degrees outside. Once temperatures reach those numbers in your car, your dog will either suffer severe damage to his or her organs or die from heat stroke.
Thank you for your continued support and remember to keep you and yours cool for the summer!