Summer is here. Now is the time to get outside and have a little fun and adventure with your dog. There are many parks and activities available that provide a pet-friendly environment for your dog. It is important to allow you dog to exercise and enjoy the outside. This helps keep him or her happy and healthy.
Although getting out this summer is important for your puppy, the heat can pose serious risks. It is important that you understand these risks to your dog. Any pet owner should understand the signs and symptoms of an overheated dog. It is also important that you understand how to prevent this, as well as how to treat the issue. This can help keep you dog safe and healthy throughout the summer.
Dog Overheated Symptoms
When you get hot, your body produces sweat to cool you off. You also take steps to cool down and get the water you need. Unfortunately, your dog does not sweat the same way that you do. They also are often unable to get to a cool area or even get themselves a drink of water. That is why it is important that you identify the signs of a problem early to give your dog the help they need. These dog overheated symptoms are signs to get your dog help quickly.
Instead of sweating, dogs pant. Excessive panting is a sign that they are too hot. If your dog seems to be panting more than usual, you should take steps to help them cool off. When a dog becomes too hot, they may also become unwilling or even unable to move. A dog overheated may require you to pick up your dog and move them to a cooler location.
Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms
When a dog becomes overheated for too long, they risk having a heat stroke. It is important for pet owners to understand the dog heat stroke symptoms to know when their pet needs emergency help. If a dog is already exhibiting signs of being overheated, it does not take long before a heat stroke is possible causing damage to their brain, heart, liver, and nervous system.
Dog heat stroke symptoms can include heavy panting and drooling. The dog’s tongue and gums can become bright or dark red. Their eyes may appear glazed over. The dog may have difficulty standing or walking. Vomiting and bloody diarrhea are also signs of a heat stroke. Seizures and even unconsciousness can occur in a dog heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the dog’s body temperature gets to 109 °F or above. Cells begin to die. The brain starts to swell. Blood flow is compromised. Lack of blood to the digestive tract can cause ulcers. Dehydration sets in that can cause irreversible damage to the dog’s kidneys. Much of this occurs within minutes after the temperatures are elevated.
What Causes a Dog to get Overheated?
Dogs are pretty smart animals. If they are hot, they will do what they can to find a cool area and drink water. Unfortunately, most overheating incidents are caused by irresponsible pet owners. Placing a dog in an area that is hot without a method for them to cool off is usually the cause for these issues. It is important to provide your dog with proper care and attention to prevent them from becoming too hot.
During the summer months, pet owners will put their dogs outside, often tied to a leash or in a fenced in yard. If the dog does not have a shady area and plenty of water, they can become overheated. Another major cause of dogs becoming overheated is when pet owners leave them in a vehicle on a hot day. It only takes a few minutes for temperatures to get dangerously high in a vehicle.
Preventing a Dog from Overheating
The best method for helping a dog overheating is to prevent it from happening in the first place. The best way to prevent a dog heat stroke is to keep your dog in cool areas. During the summer months, take you dog for walks or exercise at cooler times of the day. Early morning or late in the evening provide a nice temperature both of you can enjoy.
If your dog has to be outside or in a hot environment, make sure they have some place to get shade. You should never force your dog to sit in the sun all day. It is also important to ensure your dog has plenty of water while they are outside. While they are outside or in an area that is hotter, they should be checked on often to ensure they have enough water and are not getting overheated.
Never leave your dog in the car while you are out and about. It only takes ten minutes for a vehicle to heat up about 100 degrees on moderately warm days. Even leaving the windows down part way does not provide enough cool air to keep your dog comfortable. It is just best to not take your dog with you in the car if they are unable to go into the place you are going.
How to Cool Down Your Dog that is Overheated
Even by following the prevention tips for your dog, a dog can still become overheated quickly. It is important to know how to cool down a dog that is overheating. Quick action will provide you dog the help and comfort they need to prevent further issues. Once the signs of overheating are noticed, it is important to take steps to cool them down.
If you dog seems over heated, the first thing you should do is to take them to a cool area. This can be an air-conditioned area or even a shady spot if nothing else is available. From there, you can assess their condition. If they are standing and conscious, offer your dog small amounts of water. If you are able to, take your dog’s temperature.
If his temperature is 104ºF or less, keep him in the cool area and continue to provide small amounts of water. Be careful not to give your dog too much water at once because this could cause him to vomit. Vomiting will cause him to become dehydrated quicker. Once your dog has become cooler and more comfortable, call your veterinarian. They will provide you with more information or want to see your dog.
How to Cool Down Your Dog that Is Having a Heat Stroke
If your dog is exhibiting signs of a heat stroke, it is important to take steps immediately. As I stated before in the tips on how to cool down a dog that is overheating, the first thing you need to do is to take your dog to a cool area. If you are able, put your dog into a bathtub or have a hose handy. Make sure any hot water in the hose is flushed out before you begin.
If your dog is unconscious, be certain to keep water out of his nose and mouth. If you were able to put the dog in a bath or have a hose ready, run cool water over your dog. Be certain to wet down your dog’s entire body, especially the back of the head and neck. If you are unable to use a hose or bath, you can place wet towels over the dog’s back. Continuously replace the towels with cold ones until the dog is cool.
If your dog is conscious and willing, let your dog drink as much water as they will take. However, be certain to only allow small amounts at a time to prevent vomiting. Once your dog is calmed down and cooler, call the veterinarian or take your dog to the nearest emergency clinic to have them checked out by a professional.
Check for Signs of Shock
Whether the dog is just overheated or exhibiting signs of heat stroke, it is also important to watch for signs of shock. Shock is a reaction their body can take when extreme situations occur, such as overheating and dehydration. Shock is extremely serious and can be fatal to your dog. It is important to be aware of the signs and take action.
There are two main things to watch for that can indicate your dog is in shock. The first is if their gums have turned pale or white. If you are able to find the dog’s pulse, it is important to check to see how fast their heart rate is. A heart rate of more than 150 beats per minute is a sign of shock. If any of these signs are noticed, immediate action is necessary to prevent serious issues.
If you have already contacted your veterinarian at this point, they can assist you with the next steps. The first thing you need to do if your dog is in shock is to place the dog on its side with his head extended. Gently pull out their tongue to clear their airways. Elevate the back legs of the dog slightly. Make certain you take your dog to the veterinarian immediately for assistance.
Your dog is a part of your family as well as a friendly companion that provides you with unconditional love. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to provide them with the best care possible. Being able to prevent, identify, and treat symptoms of overheating and heat stroke can help you dog live a long, happy, and healthy life.