Every year, veterinarians treat dogs who needlessly develop heat stroke. And just like people, dogs that become severely overheated can become very ill and even die. It’s important to remember that your dog cannot remove himself from a dangerous situation. It’s up to you, as your dog’s guardian, to ensure he is not left in a place where he may become overheated.
Here are a few tips to help prevent your dog from ever having to experience a heatstroke:
- Never leave your dog unattended in direct sunlight or in a closed vehicle, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
- Ensure your dog always has access to cool water and shade in hot temperatures.
- The pads of some dogs can be sensitive to hot pavement, so walk in the shade or grass whenever possible.
- Limit strenuous activity during the middle of the day, when temperatures are the hottest. Exercise your dog during cooler parts of the day; in the morning and evening, not mid-day.
- If you enjoy taking your dog to the dog-beach, make sure he does not drink the salt water. This may lead to vomiting, and dehydration. Bring lots of fresh water not just for yourself, but for your dog as well.
- Kiddie pools are a great way to keep your dog cool if they love water.
- There are cooling packs that you can place in the freezer and place around the dogs neck to help keep cool.
- Ice-cubes are a favorite treat for dogs.
- Spraying the dog with cool water is helpful.
- Breathing rapidly
- Panting excessively
- Difficulty standing
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Your dog lies down and is unable to get up, or doesn’t want to get up when typically he would want to get up
- Uncontrollable defalcation or urination
- Erratic breathing
- Whining as if anxious
The onset of heatstroke can be very rapid. Planning for summer outings with your dog will ensure he never experiences any of the above symptoms. A little bit of caution means you and your dog will have a fun, safe and cool summer!
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