Offering Some General Advice On How To Keep Your Dog Cool & Prevent Heat Stroke During The Summer Heat
Summer is now in full swing! Although we may enjoy the sunshine and hot weather, it can be a tough time of year for our dogs. Dogs are covered in fur coats and they don’t have the ability to cool themselves through perspiration (sweat) the way humans do. This makes dogs highly susceptible to heat stroke, which can lead to serious health complications and even death. This article will discuss what heat stroke is, the warning signs of heat stroke, and the best ways to prevent heat stroke in dogs.
What Is Heat Stroke
According to The University Animal Clinic, heat stroke is a serious health condition that occurs when your dog’s temperature is so high that their organs stop functioning properly. When this occurs, the body’s ability to control its internal temperature fails. The leading cause of heat stroke is too much exposure to the sun. Therefore, heat stroke is more common during the summer months. Heat stroke can also occur when your dog is confined to a small area that is excessively hot (like in a car with the windows up).
Warning Signs Of Heat Stroke
The best way to prevent heat stroke is to know what warning signs to look for. Here are just a few examples of the early symptoms of heat stroke. If you notice any of these in your dog, move them to a cool & shaded area immediately and contact your local veterinarian. Early warning signs include excessive panting, very high heart rate, distressed behavior, increased salivation, red gums, lethargy, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, stumbling, sudden collapsing, and seizures.
How To Set Your Dog Up For Success
Heat stroke is a very serious health condition and it can happen in less than an hour in some cases. The best thing you can do regarding heat stroke in your dog is to take preventative measures. Here are just a few ways to stop heat stroke before it happens.
Access To Water
Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water, both indoors and outdoors. Staying well hydrated is essential during the summer heat and humidity. When leaving water bowls outdoors, always keep them in the shade and check them routinely to make sure there are no mosquitoes floating in the water.
As previously mentioned, the most common cause of heat stroke in dogs is overexposure to the sun. That’s why it’s so important to provide adequate shaded areas for your dog when outside. The shade of a large tree or retractable awning will suffice. As long as a shaded area is available, your dog will find it when they need it.
We mentioned some of the early warning signs of heat stroke earlier in this article. However, knowing the warning signs only matters if you’re around to notice them. When taking your dog outside, even with an enclosed/fenced-in yard, always stay out there with them. Heat stroke can occur in less than an hour, so be sure to supervise your dog when outside in the Summer heat.
Plan Your Dog Walks Accordingly
When taking your dog for a walk, we suggest doing so when the temperatures are at their lowest. This means taking your dog for walks early in the morning (before the sun comes up) and later in the evening (when the sun is going down). Taking your dog for walks during the lower temperatures of the day will help lower the chances of them overheating, but still getting the chance to enjoy a nice walk.
A Comfortable Home
Heat stroke in dogs usually occurs when they are exposed to too much sun. However, heat stroke can still occur indoors as well. We suggest paying close attention to the temperature of your home during the hot Summer months. Always make sure your home is a reasonable and comfortable temperature for both you and your furry friends. We also suggest making sure there is adequate circulation throughout your home. This can be done by utilizing fans and/or air conditioners. If you plan on leaving your dogs alone for long periods of time, then don’t be afraid to kick on the AC before you leave. Your dog will appreciate it!
More Articles Like This!
We hope you enjoyed this article and that you found some of the aforementioned information useful. Heat stroke is a very serious medical condition and we hope that none of your dogs ever have to experience it. If you enjoyed this article, then be sure to check out our other educational pet-themed blogs by clicking here. We suggest checking out the National Pet Hydration Month blog by clicking here. We hope you and your furry friends have a fun, exciting, and safe Summer!