Hot dogs! We have to watch out for our dogs in hot weather since they can't tell us if they are not feeling well. Any hot environment can cause heatstroke. The most careless is leaving a dog in a car on a hot day. And, another common cause is not providing adequate shade for a dog when outside. Even on moderate summer days please don’t leave your dog in the car with the windows rolled-up or windows just slightly open. Even on warm days the heat in a car can build-up quickly.
Our dog's cool down by panting, the heat eliminates from their bodies through their mouths. They also have a small amount of sweat glands in their footpads which helps, but only a small amount. When your dog isn't able to pant fast enough their body temperature rises and this can be fatal if not corrected immediately.
Also, on those hot sunny days the pavement and sidewalks can heat up quickly. You have to think of his paws in direct contact with this hot surface. One trick is to test the sidewalk and pavement with your own hand or slip off your sandal and check the temperature with the bottom of your foot. We have to watch our for dogs.
One more thing we need to watch our for on sunny days is sunburn. Their noses and ears along with the skin under their thick fur may be effected by harsh UV rays. You should definitely use a dog appropriate sunscreen to help protect him from the sun and potential for skin cancer.
In the hot weather your dog can be more reserved and aloof and not want to eat as much as he normally does. Also, it's important to understand your dog can also get dehydrated and low on electrolytes. You can make or buy frozen natural and healthy treats (like Hound Pops) for your dog which will perk him up and hydrate him with great nutrition at the same time.
Here are some tips on how to deal with your dog if you find they have over heated.
It is essential to remove the dog from the hot environment immediately and call your vet.
If your dog is unconscious, make sure no water enters the nose or mouth and call your vet as you take your dog to emergency.
Here are some methods to cool your dog down when you see is over heated or on the verge of heat stroke.
- Put your dog in the bath tub and run cool water - NOT COLD - water over your dog's body especially the head and neck.
- Use a garden hose to cool your dog running water over their body.
- Put your dog in shallow lake or river water while you are with him. Cool his belly.
- Apply frozen veggies or a cold pack to your dog's head to help lower his body temperature.
- Massage his legs. A vigorous rubbing helps the dog’s circulation and reduces the risks of shock.
- Let the dog drink as much cool or cold water as it wants. Adding a pinch of salt to the water bowl will help the dog replace the minerals it lost through panting.
One thing we do in our home is walk our dogs early in the morning when it is cooler and they can enjoy being outside. And, even though we have dogs who love to swim we minimize their time outside midday to prevent any overheating and sunburn.