Prevent and treat overheating in your dog. It could save their life

May 27, 2016 0 Comments

Prevent and treat overheating in your dog. It could save their life

The dog days of summer are here with temperatures hitting 100 degrees. It can be fun to get outside with your dog, but you have to be careful that your dog doesn’t overheat or incur heatstroke. As vendors, we do a number of outdoor events each summer and have seen dogs become very ill, and even pass away due to the heat.

Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs

Check the weather before you leave. If you’re driving from a cooler location early in the morning, check the temperature of where you’re going. If it’s going to be hot out stay home or leave your dog at home. It isn’t worth risking their life in the heat.

It also goes without saying, but whatever you do don’t leave your dog in the car. They get very hot very quickly.

Always make sure you bring cool water for your dog, and if you can, get them a good cooling coat to help them cool off.

Dogs at risk

Not all dogs are created equal. It’s important to know if your dog is more prone to overheating. Younger dogs, dogs with long hair, and brachial dogs are all much more likely to overheat. Brachial dogs are dogs with a flatter face such as pugs, boxers, and bulldogs.

Recognizing Heatstroke and hyperthermia in dogs

Your dog’s temperature shouldn’t be above 103F, when it hits 106F or higher without any inflammation means that heatstroke is setting in in your dog. Since you probably don’t carry a thermometer around with you it’s important to be able to identify it setting in in your dog.

Symptoms of Heatstroke in Dogs

  • Excessive panting, especially if your dog is still
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dry gums that change colour (either flushed with blood and redder or trouble with circulation and go grey)
  • Production of small amounts of urine
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Unconsciousness  
  • Vomiting for no apparent reason
  • Change in mental status - is your dog acting differently?

Treating Heat Stroke in Dogs

If you do find your dog overheating, taking the following steps could save your dog’s life.

  • Stay still. Don’t start running around or playing or walking uphill.
  • Wrap a cool towel around your dog’s neck and in their armpits
  • Let them have a drink of cool - not cold water and make sure they don’t inhale it.
  • Get your dog into a cool area. Whether it’s your air conditioned car or an inside area where they can cool off
  • Let them lie on something cool such as grass or a cooling pad
  • Wet your dog down again being careful to keep it cool not cold

Be careful not to cool your dog off too quickly. It may be tempting to put them in an ice bath but this can induce shock.

Recognize and know how to treat overheating in your dog. It could save their life.