With the warm weather months already upon us, it’s important to take the proper precautions against canine heat exhaustion. Here are a few facts and tips that will help you keep your canine bestie cool and comfortable all summer long.
Summer is the time of year when we want to enjoy plenty of outdoor time with our pups and play lots of games of fetch and frisbee in the park. However, even though your pooch will probably have the time of their life running and jumping and romping in the sunshine, they may become dangerously overheated, and if their temperature rises above 103-degrees, there is a real risk of organ failure.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion may be difficult to spot at first – if your dog was just playing, the indication of heat exhaustion might be easily mistaken for fatigue after vigorous exercise. While dog’s may be panting and drooling somewhat heavily, if they are overwhelmed by the heat, they may also exhibit the following symptoms:
The weather doesn’t have to be exceedingly hot to trigger heat exhaustion symptoms, nor does a dog have to have exerted themselves to an excessive degree. Here are a few precautionary measures you can take to ensure your dog never succumbs to the heat.
- Keep water available at all times. Bring bottles of water and a bowl to the park, beach, or wherever you plan to enjoy the outdoors with your pup.
- Rest in a shady spot. Don’t sunbathe with your dog – always stay in the shade.
- Never leave your dog in an unattended car. No matter what the weather is, leaving your dog in a car is dangerous. A car can heat up to more than 100-degrees on a 70-degree day if it is parked in the sun.
- Make sure you keep your home cool. It’s important to adjust the climate control or keep fans going while your dog is in the house to make sure it’s always at a healthy temperature. After all – your pup can’t sweat, and they’re always wearing a coat!
- Take your dog out in the very early morning or early evening. Go for your walks and hikes early enough to be able to enjoy moderately cool weather when the summer months begin to really swelter.
Older dogs, puppies, breeds with heavy coats, and dogs with medical conditions are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion. Make sure to keep a close eye on vulnerable dogs in warm weather, particularly when the weather is humid in addition to being hot. If you have a chubby dog, talk to your vet about weight loss strategies because hot weather can be especially dangerous for obese dogs. Regardless of whether you feed your dog Nutrish, Blue Balance, or Zignature, DCM, obesity, high blood pressure, and other weight-related conditions can make your dog dangerously prone to overheating.
If your dog becomes overheated, you can give them a cool (not cold) bath, give them water, and contact your vet for further steps.
I’m a diehard dog lover, and when I’m not writing about dogs, you’ll probably find me at the dog park with my two rescue girls!