During the summer months in the valley, temperatures can be lethal for humans as well as our pets. While outside with your dog, please be mindful of the signs of heat exhaustion, which could lead to a potentially fatal heat stroke.
Heat Exhaustion Signs in Dogs
1. Heavy panting – The first sign of heat exhaustion is heavy panting. Since dogs are incapable of sweating, their only way to cool their internal temperature is through panting.
2. Pay close attention to certain breeds – Certain breeds with heavy coats (such as Shelties or Chow Chows) and other breeds with short snouts making it harder for them to breath (such as Boxers and Pugs) are much more susceptible to heat exhaustion and should be watched closely while in hot temperatures.
3. Weakness – Dogs may experience weakness in extreme heat.
4. Disorientation – You may notice that your dog is unaware of his/her surroundings while experiencing heat exhaustion.
5. Vomiting – This may also occur during heat exhaustion.
Heat Stroke Signs in Dogs
1. Heavy panting – This is also the first sign of heat stroke.
2. Disorientation – Another characteristic of heat stroke.
3. Diarrhea – This often occurs in the event of a heat stroke.
4. Seizures and/or coma – Another very serious symptom of heat stroke.
It is very important to spot the signs of heat exhaustion early before a heat stroke occurs, as heat strokes are often times fatal. Pet owners who observe serious signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion should seek help from a veterinarian immediately. In the mean time, there are some things that can be done to cool down a dog displaying signs of heat exhaustion:
1. Provide plenty of water
2. Keep the pet in a cool resting place
3. Place a cool, wet towel around the dog’s neck
4. Ice packs may be placed on the dog’s arm pit area or neck area
Some very simple steps can be taken to avoid the serious effects of heat stroke and heat exhaustion in pets.
1. Avoid taking your dog out during the middle of the day in the hot summer months.
2. Walk dogs only during the morning and evening hours when the temperature is cooler.
3. Provide plenty of fresh water at all times.
4. Never leave your pet outside, tied up, unattended, or in a vehicle during the summer months.
In-Home Pet Care, Dog Walking