Summer is right around the corner. We can look forward to longer days filled with sunshine and the ability to get outdoors with our dogs. With that summertime sunshine comes an increase in the temperature as well. Depending upon where you live, higher temperatures may not be exclusive to just summertime. Keeping your pet safe in high temperatures is crucial to their health. Heat stroke in dogs can be serious if not treated right away or if the proper precautions were not in place. Read below to learn more about the symptoms and how to keep them safe!
Symptoms to Look Out For
Recognizing the signs of heat stroke in dogs is very important. Please be reminded that this information is not intended to serve as a substitute for veterinary care. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health or suspect they may be experiencing heat stroke, contact your veterinarian or local emergency clinic immediately. Certain health conditions can also exacerbate heat intolerance. Keep an eye out for the following warning signs:
- Excessive Panting
- Gums that are bright red in appearance
- A rapid or erratic heartbeat
- Muscle tremors
- Ataxia (incoordination)
What to Do If Your Dog is Showing These Signs
If you observe any of these above-referenced symptoms in your dog, this is a medical emergency and requires immediate veterinary care. The earlier that this condition is recognized, the better. The severity of the side effects and potential for fatality increases the longer their body is overheated. If the body temperature is too high and a dog cannot cool itself down, they are at risk for widespread damage to their internal organs as well as shock and blood clotting
Heat stroke is not something to be taken lightly, and it is something to watch closely. Your canine companion depends on you to help them stay safe and healthy. They may want to be outside with you when the sun is beating down, but that might not be the safest place for them at that time. Cooler times of the day (typically early in the morning or the evening) are the best times for your dog to be outside.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe
While our canine companions may enjoy being outside playing or sunbathing, we must diligently monitor their time outdoors, activity level, and body temperature and ensure they have consistent access to cool water. Make sure that they avoid vigorous play when it is hot outside. In high temperatures, the best place for your dog is inside, with air conditioning and out of direct sunlight. While the heat may seem tolerable to you, remember that your dog has fur and cannot sweat like you do to cool yourself down. Additionally, you can consider purchasing a cooling mat for your dog to lay on when spending time outside. Many dogs also greatly enjoy splashing around in a kiddie pool or running through a sprinkler too!
The sun can quickly heat the pavement, sand, and concrete, causing it to be far too hot for a dog to step on. Always check the temperature of the surface your dog will be walking on to ensure it is not too hot. If it hurts your hand, it’ll most certainly hurt their pads. Consider walking and playing in shaded areas, on the grass, or hosing down the place where your dog will be walking with cool water as needed. Additionally, take your walks during the coolest point of the day and note when heat advisories are issued for your area. Some dogs will tolerate wearing booties to help protect their feet; just be sure they’re sized appropriately.
Heat stroke in dogs is a condition that you want to avoid at all costs. By exercising the proper precautions when it is hot outside, you can ensure your dog is safe and healthy. If you do suspect your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, do not hesitate to call your nearest emergency veterinarian. It is crucial to treat heatstroke as fast as possible in order for the best potential outcome.
Call us at (817) 421-5850 to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about heat stroke in dogs Here at Creekside Pet Care Center, we would be more than happy to care for your pet and answer any questions you may have!