The hot summer months are here, meaning a higher chance your pup will get more time outside. As the weather gets warmer we want our dogs to experience the joys of nature just like we do. However, the warm weather also brings a huge threat to your pet, Heat Exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion occurs when a dog is unable to regulate their body temperature through panting. The open-mouthed breathing, called panting, is the main way dogs decrease their body temperature. When a dog’s temperature reaches above 103 heat exhaustion can occur and if it becomes even higher they are at a risk for heat stroke or death.
If your pup does start to show signs of overheating take action immediately to cool them down. One strategy is to move your pet to a cool area, such as an air conditioned room or in the shade. Another is to get them wet. If you are near a pool or lake, have them jump in. If not, use some wet cloths on their body, such as on their neck, armpits, hind legs, ears, and paw pads. Try to give your dog water, but do not force them to drink. Instead wet their tongue with water (not ice cubes because it could drop their temperature too fast). If the heat exhaustion is very severe, take your dog to the vet. If possible call ahead of time so the vet can be ready as soon as you arrive.
While knowing what to do when heat exhaustion occurs is helpful, knowing how to prevent it is even better. Here are a list of practices to do during those hot times of the year.
Summer time is the perfect time to connect with your dog both in nature and indoors. Just remember to keep your fur baby as hydrated and cool as you want to be!