Now that the warmer weather is here, you might look forward to long summer walks and picnics in the sun with your four-legged friend. Did you know dogs can overheat quickly? When the temperature gets uncomfortable for humans, it can also be an unpleasant time for your dog. Even more dangerous, your dog can overheat and suffer from heatstroke.
Understanding the risks of the hot weather to our dogs is vital. Keeping our canine friends cool and safe during the summer is all about planning and preparation. Here at Safer Pet, we have listed some precautions to ensure your dog is healthy and safe in the warmer months.
How Do Dogs Regulate Their Body Heat?
Dogs do not sweat like humans through their skin. Instead, they have glands on their paw pads. You might have noticed your dog leaves wet paw prints on hot days. This is your dog releasing heat through their pads.
Your furry friend also pants to keep cool. As your dog gets hotter, your dog’s panting increases. The air your dog inhales passes over his tongue, causing moisture to evaporate, keeping him cool.
Dogs In Hot Cars
Never leave dogs in hot cars. You might think the temperature is a comfortable 22°C outside, but inside the vehicle, it can rapidly rise to 47°C, an unbearable and potentially fatal temperature for your dog. It does not take long before a dog suffers from heatstroke.
Also, when driving your car, you might think it feels like a pleasant temperature with the air conditioning, but not all vehicles have air conditioning in the rear. If your dog is in the boot, the sun’s glare can feel baking, particularly through the rear window.
Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool
- Provide plenty of fresh water.
- Provide plenty of shade.
- A cool, damp towel or cooling mat to lie on will help reduce your dog’s temperature.
- Be careful with dogs susceptible to heatstroke, including short-nosed dogs (brachycephalic), breeds such as boxers and pugs. Obese and elderly, and dogs with underlying health conditions.
- Groom regularly. Grooming removes dead or excess fur, leaving your furry friend with a less dense coat and helping him feel cooler.
Signs Of Heatstroke
It is essential to keep an eye on your dog during the hot weather. If your dog does suffer from heatstroke, the sooner you spot the signs, the sooner you can get medical help.
- Heavy panting
- Drooling or dribbling
Action To Take
If you spot signs your dog is suffering from heatstroke, some immediate actions you can take are:
- Move your dog to a cooler place in the path of a fan's breeze
- Offer water
- Wet your dog’s coat with cool water, not freezing
- Lay your dog on a cool towel or mat
- Call the vet for advice, even if you think your dog looks better
Summer can mean plenty of fun for you and your pooch. Make sure you plan ahead and keep an eye on your pouch for signs of heat exhaustion. Enjoy the warmer days!