As the summer months approach and temperatures start to rise. We all get excited, well I certainly do but let’s spare a thought for our furry companions. It is crucial to keep dogs cool in hot weather and ill be teaching you the best ways to achieve this further on.
When we get hot we sweat to cool ourselves down it is different for our dogs. The main way that dogs cool themselves is by panting, they do sweat a small amount through their paws but doesn’t help all that much.
Dogs temperature can increase quickly when panting is not sufficient if you are not careful and react slowly this can be fatal.
Heatstroke In Dogs – Know The Physical Symptoms
Heatstroke is very dangerous, there are many physical signs you must watch out for when you find yourself in hot weather with your dog.
- Excessive amounts of panting and drooling
- Unstable movement
- Reddened gums
- Loss of consciousness/collapse
The most common cause of heatstroke is by a careless action by an owner. For example, not providing shade or water when outside or leaving your dog in a parked car. Just so you are aware any hot environment can cause a heatstroke it’s up to you to protect your dog.
There are breeds that unfortunately for them are more prone to heatstroke such as (Pug, King Charles Spaniel, Bulldog, and other flat-faced breeds). Also, dogs who are overweight, older or have thick fur are also at a higher risk.
Keep Your Dog Cool
Plan your walks or playtime to avoid the hottest parts of the day, my recommendation would bean early and late evening walk. Also, I find it is best if you can walk in woodland to give blissful shade or walk near a river or other water source and let them paddle and cool off.
When the day starts to heat up the pavements get incredibly hot! Avoid them as much as you can, as a general rule if the pavement is too hot to keep your hand on for 10 seconds then do not allow your dog to walk on them. You may be able to find dog footwear to help.
Burning your dogs pads is very painful and can be a frustrating and long recovery for both you and your dog. During any trip, you make with your dog be mindful to always bring water.
A Few Tips
- Set up a shallow paddling pool.
- Give them a brush.
- Make your own frozen treats. Freeze some dog peanut butter or their favorite treats.
- Provide shade for them if your garden/outside area does not have any.
- Regularly refill the water bowl and make sure it is available at all times.
- Place a cool wet towel over your dogs back.
Keep a close eye on your furry friend and check if they are acting abnormally. Apply as many of the examples I have given you above and your dog will be in a great place. A Place where you have given them all the comforts to survive the hot weather and hopefully avoid any illnesses that accompany the summer months.
Heatstroke – Emergency First Aid
To give the best chance of survival, they urgently need to have their body temperature reduced gradually. It is essential to remove the dog from the hot environment as soon as possible.
- Immediately douse the dog with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock. Cover the whole body especially the back of the head and neck. Place them in front of a fan or cool breeze.
- Do not submerge your dogs head in water. Keep the head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
- Call your veterinarian and tell them you are on the way! They will then inform you what to do next based on the symptoms your dog has and how far away you are.
- Let your dog drink cool water but do not force them to drink.
When in any doubt what to do always call your vet and talk to a professional they are there to help.
Cars Can Be A Death Trap
Sadly every year many dogs will suffer and die due to their owners leaving them in a parked car. Temperatures can sore while in parked cars even when parked in shade. There has been plenty of occasions that the temperature inside a car can be double or more than the outside temperature!
As you have just read heatstroke is extremely dangerous and dogs and pets can sustain brain
damage in 15minutes or less depending on how hot it is while inside a car. The more knowledge that can be shared about the danger of keeping pets inside cars for even a few minutes can and will save many innocent pets.
If you come across a dog locked in a parked car and showing signs of heatstroke or distress note down the car’s colour, make, model and license plate and notify all the local buildings, or call the police and inform them immediately. DO NOT leave the scene until the situation is resolved and have someone keep an eye on the dog.
If the authorities are too slow or unresponsive and the dog seems to be impending danger, it’s best to get a witness (or several) to back up your view. It may be in your interest to take photos or videos before acquiring access to the car as this could be classed as criminal damage without justification. Get the numbers of the witness to back up the circumstances that you have seen.
Prevention Is Key
As dog owners we spend a great deal of time with our dogs at our side, we learn their personalities and traits. You grow accustomed to what your dog will do in certain situations. If you notice anything abnormal I find it’s best to take a mental note and continue to monitor them.
When the summer month’s roll in be mindful and aware to give your dog the best chance to stay cool. If you have more ways to keep our dogs cool please feel free to leave a comment. The more knowledgeable we become the better we can protect our fluffy friends.