Tips To Keep Your Dog From Overheating This Summer
We are ending the middle month of summer and with that should come a refresher on how to keep your dog safe from the heat! It is easy for us to know when we are getting hot because we have cues that we can pick up on, like our body getting sweaty for example. Dogs stay cool by panting and believe it or not, our dogs sweat through their paw pads!
Unfortunately for our furry friends, sweating through the paw pads is not enough to cool off and it is hard for us to pick up on since it is not something we can easily see. In short, it is up to us to ensure that our dogs are safe and cool this summer and in future summers. So here are some tips to keep your dog cool.
Know your dog's limits
Your dog will not tell you that they are too hot to play or work. In fact, they will keep going until their body can no longer keep up. We need to keep in mind that it is dangerous for them to push themselves too hard in the heat. Too much play and work during the heat can cause a heat stroke and as their humans, we need to limit how much time they are in the heat to prevent heat strokes from happening
Know the signs of heat strokes in dogs
We covered the dangers of a heat stroke in our previous blog post “4 Reasons Why You Should Never Leave Your Dog In the Car.” But as a refresher here are the signs of a heat stroke:
a temperature of 106°F
excessive drooling with ropy saliva
change in gum color, dogs gums are a healthy pink color if it changes to dark red, purple, or blue your dog will need medical attention
as heat stroke develops your dog may get diarrhea and vomit
tremors or seizures
How to cool off your dog
If your dog is displaying excessive panting, the first thing you should do is check your dog’s temperature. A dog’s ideal temperature is 101.0 to 102.5°F. If their temperature is higher than that but lower than 104°, get your dog out of the sun and begin to slowly lower their body temperature. You can do this by wetting them down with a water hose or with a damp towel that will cover their whole body. You can also place a fan by your dog because cold air hitting their wet skin will result in evaporative cooling.
When to take them to the vet
If your dog’s body temperature is higher than 104°F, you will need to take them to the vet immediately. Heatstroke can cause damage to your dog’s brain so be sure to take your dog to the vet if you suspect they are suffering from a heat stroke. The sooner you act the better chances your dog will have of recovering.
In short, our furry friends need our help more than ever in this heat so please make sure to keep them hydrated, limit their time in the sun, ask yourself if it’s better for them to stay at home, and remember to look out for symptoms of a heat stroke.
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