Summertime is a great time to get outside and enjoy the weather, but it’s also important to be aware of the dangers that hot weather can pose to our furry friends. Dogs are particularly susceptible to heatstroke, which can be fatal if not treated quickly. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of heatstroke in dogs, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
What is heatstroke?
Dogs suffer from heatstroke when their bodies are unable to regulate their internal temperature. This can happen when they are exposed to high temperatures, or when they are overexerting themselves and producing too much heat.
Dogs are especially vulnerable to heatstroke. They do not sweat as humans do. Instead, they pant to release heat from their bodies. They also release heat through their paws. However both these methods of cooling are not very effective, and dogs can quickly overheat. If a dog’s body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it will suffer from heatstroke.
Dogs with short snouts such as pugs and bulldogs are more susceptible to heatstroke because they can’t Pant as effectively. Flat-faced breeds also tend to have narrower windpipes which make it harder for them to take in air. Overweight dogs and senior dogs are also at a higher risk because they don’t adjust to heat as well as younger, healthier dogs.
Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs
Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include:
- excessive panting
- increased body temperature
- glazed eyes
- increased heart rate
- muscle tremors
Heatstroke is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated promptly. By being aware of the symptoms and taking quick action, you can help keep your dog safe during the hot summer months.
How to treat heatstroke in dogs
If not treated promptly, heatstroke can lead to organ damage and even death. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, it is important to take immediate action.
If you see any of the symptoms in your dog, it is important to act quickly. Move them to a cool area, such as shade or indoors, and apply cool water to their body. Do not use ice water, as this can cause further stress to their body.
If possible, take their temperature rectally with a digital thermometer. You should continue cooling your dog until their body temperature reaches 103°F (39.4°C).
Once their temperature has been reduced, take them to the vet as soon as possible for further treatment.
How can you prevent your dog from getting heatstroke in the first place?
One of the best ways to prevent your dog from getting heat stroke is to keep them well hydrated. Ensure they have a constant supply of fresh water. You can also offer cool snacks such as cucumber or carrots, which will help to keep them hydrated.
Dogs also sweat through their paws, so it’s important to make sure they are not walking on hot surfaces at all times, especially when it’s summertime.
Stick to shorter walks or play sessions, in the very early morning or late at night, and make sure they have plenty of time to rest in the shade throughout the day.
Put out a paddling pool for them to cool down in, and keep a spray bottle of water handy to give them a cooling spritz when needed.
Encourage the family to leave the dog to rest quietly. Dogs will happily get involved in what we are doing and will play to the point of collapse.
Lastly, never leave your dog alone in a parked car, as the temperature inside can rise quickly and become dangerous. Avoid long car journeys if possible.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your furry friend safe and cool in the summer months.
Prevent your dog from getting sunburn
Dogs can get sunburn. In fact, they are just as susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation as humans. Dog owners should take care to keep their pets out of direct sunlight during the peak hours of the day, and they should also consider applying sunscreen to exposed areas of the body.
Be sure to use a sunscreen that is specifically designed for dogs, as some human sunscreens can be toxic to animals.
If your dog does happen to get sunburned, look for signs of discomfort such as excessive licking or biting at the affected area. You can also apply a cool compress to help soothe the skin. If the sunburn is severe, or if your dog shows signs of distress, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.
LWDG Summertime Series: Keeping your dog safe during the summertime months
The summertime months are a great time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather with your dog. However, it’s important to take some precautions to keep your furry friend safe. Heatstroke (article here) , is a real danger for dogs, so be sure to provide plenty of water and shade when you’re out and about. You should also be careful of sunburn, especially on short-haired breeds. We also have an older post here Stopping Your Restless Working Dog From Overheating
If you’re hiking or walking in long grass, be on the lookout for grass seeds (article on this here), which can cause irritation and even infection. And finally, be aware that adder bites are more common in the summer months (article on this here), If you suspect your dog has been bitten, seek medical attention immediately. By taking some simple steps, you can help ensure that your dog enjoys a safe and fun summer.
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