Just because it’s hotter than a stolen tamale outside doesn’t mean that our dog, Poppy, wants to stay in the house and loaf around all day! We’ve been getting up extra early for her daily hike. We don’t want her getting Heat Stroke! or your dog either. Most of our customers have four legged family members too, so here is a little safe summer guidance for healthy pets:
- Exercise your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening on hot summer days.
- Keep your pet indoors during the heat of the day, and have plenty of fresh clean water available.
- If it is not possible to keep your pet indoors, make sure to have access to plenty of complete shade, and fresh water.
- Beware of hot concrete or asphalt – the heat can burn your pet’s feet, while rising heat can contribute to heat stroke in small animals.
- Never leave your pet in a locked car, not even for a few minutes, not even with the windows down a bit!!
Signs of Heat Stroke
The first signs of being overheated include heavy panting and difficulty breathing. The tongue and gums will start to appear bright red, the eyes will glaze over.
- The dog becomes unsteady on its feet.
- There is excessive drooling.
- Vomiting or bloody diarrhea.
- Seizures or loss of consciousness.
- Cats can pant, have sweaty paws, groom excessively in an attempt to cool down Their tongue and gums can also become red, vomiting and staggering can be noticed, and ultimately seizures or coma and death.
- Getting your pet’s temperature down quickly is crucial.
- Move your pet out of the heat into a cooler area, either into the shade – or ideally into air conditioning.
- Spray your pet with cool (not icy cold) water.
- Place wet towels or cool packs in the armpits and the groin area.
- Putting a fan on it will help further cooling.
Never give large bowls of water at once in case vomiting makes things worse. If your pet is not very alert, don’t give anything by mouth but go to a vet immediately.
These risk factors are:
- Being a dog with a short nose and flat face – such as Pugs, Pekineses, Boxers, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus and Boston Terriers
- Being a very young pup or elderly pet, or obese
- Being left in a car on a hot day – this can be fatal in a relatively short time!
- Suffering from heart or lung disease (interferes with efficient breathing)
- Being confined without access to shade or water on a hot day
- Over exercising your dog or allowing it to over-exercise in hot weather.