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August 17, 2015

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Keep your dog cool on hot summer days to prevent overheating

Preventing, recognizing, and treating overheating in your dog.

We're in the dog days of summer, and it's going to be HOT here in Toronto. You need to make sure that your dog isn't overheating. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to overheating in your dog, but just in case, make sure your can recognize the symptoms ahead of time.  

Preventing overheating in your dog

Prevention is the best way to avoid overheating, but your dog still needs to get outside. Some basic rules of prevention.

  • Don't leave your dog in hot cars, not even for a couple of minutes.
  • Shorten your walks. If your dog is really panting stop and cool down. Let him or her cool off on the grass for a few minutes.
  • Grab a cooling coat for your dog. They make all the difference for our dog York in the heat as seen as below.
  • Bring a small bottle of water to mist your dog.
  • Walk in shaded routes.
  • Avoid very hot pavement. If it is too hot for your skin, it's too hot for your dog.
  • Check the forecast for when it will be cooler, when it will be hottest, and for any heat warnings.
  • Walk more in the early morning or late evening when it's cooler.

 

Recognizing the signs of dehydration and overheating in dogs.

Signs of dehydration in dogs

  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry mouth, gums, tongue
  • Poor skin elasticity

Signs of overheating in dogs

  • Excessive panting and overly loud breathing
  • Disorientation and dizziness
  • Increased heart rate (can you feel their hear beating really fast) 
  • Dog acting out of personality. You know your dog better than anyone and will be able to tell if something isn't right.
  • Vomiting
  • Increased temperature as taken by a rectal thermometer. A normal temperature is 101-102.5F

Treating overheating in dogs

When you recognize that your dog is overheating, you want to cool them off. There are a few ways to do this depending on the severity of the overheating.

  • Stop exercise immediately. If your dogs are playing get them to rest.
  • Get off of hot surfaces such as asphalt and pavement can get very hot in the sun, get to cool grass. If you can, take a dip like our pal Archie Brindleton in the cover photo.
  • Offer a small drink of cool - not ice-  water. Don't force your dog to drink it as they can take it into their lungs 
  • Wrap a cool wet towel around their torso, neck, and between hind legs
  • Call ahead to your vet if overheating is severe. You want them to treat dog right away where they may need IV fluids or other help that only a vet can provide. 

Make sure that you're keeping an eye on your dog in the heat. They can get very hot very quickly. For an extra cool treat, throw a couple of duck feet in the freezer for when you get home.


Lucas Walker
Lucas Walker

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