As you know, there have been major heat advisories across the Nation this summer. As humans, we have to be careful with the heat and our health. We also need to do the same for our furry loved ones. Here is some information to help you beat the heat this summer.
Use common sense – if it is too hot for you outside, it’s too hot for your dog. If the outdoor temperature is too hot or cold for a human to be comfortable, then it’s too severe, for your dog. Hot temperatures, combined with humidity, can cause dehydration and heatstroke.
Heat Stroke and Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both hazardous situations for any dog. Dogs don’t have the ability to sweat, and panting can’t fully cool a dog down when they are overheated. A dogs’ average body temperature is 100-102.5 degrees, a body temperature over 106 degrees is deadly and calls for immediate veterinary assistance.
Look for symptoms of heatstroke in animals:
· excessive or exaggerated panting
· swollen tongue
· thick saliva
· dark red gums
· rapid heartbeat
· heavy drooling
If your dog is displaying any of these signs, take it immediately to the vet. Heatstroke kills quickly—even waiting a few minutes could lead to permanent organ damage or death.
Ways to Protect Your Pets from Summer Heat
Here are some suggestions on how to protect your pets from the extreme summer heat.
- Keep them hydrated
- Get them comfy
- Consider a haircut or furminator treatment
- Offer shade
- Never leave them in a hot car
- Keep them cool.
- Take a dip in water
- Test the ground or concrete when you walk your dog
- Don’t forget about livestock and horses
- Wet your dog down before, during and after walks
- Play indoors
- Let them play during the day inside
- Limit yard time
- Restrict exercise on high-temperature days
Instead of sweating, the primary way a dog lowers its body temperature is through panting. These heavy, quick breaths expel heat and cause moisture to evaporate, which cools the blood in the mouth and tongue. However, certain conditions make this technique ineffective. In high humidity, evaporation happens more slowly—which means that even in a pleasant, shady refuge, no amount of panting will bring down a dog’s internal temperature.
The good news is, you don’t have to surrender your outdoor summer plans to keep your best friend safe and healthy. If you stay aware and follow the basic tips for keeping your pet cool and comfortable, you can both enjoy a bright, hot season outside.
Other Cool Ideas
Dog Popsicles. Whether you prefer to make your own dog treats or buy them at the store, you can help your dog to stay refreshed with yummy, healthy dog ice cream.
Cooling Gear. Technology is your friend, and now, it’s your pet’s friend. Over the last several years, many companies have developed cooling gear to help dogs beat the heat and avoid health issues. Cooling beds, vests, and collars are easy to find at your local pet store, veterinarian, or even online. These will help your pet to cool down on hot days.
When in doubt, keep your pet indoors as often as possible on hotter days. If your pet has excessive fur, it may be worth visiting your vet and asking about a summer haircut or special tips for your specific breed.
MainStreet Veterinarians practices both conventional as well as alternative animal healthcare from our friendly office in Stone Mountain, GA. Offering mainly conventional veterinary medicine and surgery to also offering a wide array of alternative and holistic treatments to the veterinary community as well. Call us today to make an appointment with your beloved pet at 770-498-4620 or send us an email.