People and their pets have fun in the sun in the summer. It’s also dangerous when temperatures rise and there is a lot of moisture around. As humans do, dogs can get sick from overheating. They get so excited about playing that they don’t even notice when something is wrong. As a dog owner, it is your job to try to keep your pet from overheating and give him first aid if he does.
Dogs Get Sick When They Get Too Hot
Heat illness happens when a dog’s method of controlling her body temperature, panting, doesn’t work well because of high heat and humidity. This is called “heat illness.” It makes the dog’s body temperature rise to a dangerous level as a result. Any breed can get too hot, but short-nosed dogs, like boxers, pugs, and bulldogs, may be more at risk because they are less good at panting.
To tell if your dog is sick, you need to look for these signs.
- It’s dangerous for your dog to have trouble breathing if he pants faster than normal or makes noises when he breathes.
- Bright red, blue, purple, gray, or yellow gums can happen when the body doesn’t get enough oxygen.
- Disorientation: An overheated dog may have a hard time standing up or walking on its own.
- Diarrhea and vomiting are never good signs, but they can be even more dangerous in a hot dog because they can cause dehydration.
If you have a digital thermometer, you can take the temperature of the dog. People think it’s weird if the temperature is above 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
What should you do if your dog gets too hot?
If you think your dog is too hot, you need to act quickly. There is a chance your pet will die quickly if its temperature hits 110 degrees. Move her inside if possible. Try to find a place that isn’t in direct sunlight.
Playing with your dog outside, especially when you’re away from home, is a good time to make sure it has enough water to drink. The best thing to do if you think your dog is too hot is to give him water and let him drink as much as he wants. Don’t try to make him drink, though!
Because quick action is so important to reversing the effects of overheating, you should try to cool your dog down before going to the vet. A pool or bathtub would be the best place for you to soak her. You could also use a garden hose to douse her with water or wet towels and apply them around the paws and ears. The water should be cool but not icy cold, and it should never be hot. Spray the hose away from your dog to get rid of any water that has sat in the sun. If you put your dog in a tub or pool, keep her head above the water.
You can call your vet when your dog is calmer. Make sure they know that you’re on your way. This gives the staff time to plan for even more cooling and treatment, so they can do that now. Remember that time is money.
How can you avoid overheating?
It’s better to keep your dog from overheating in the first place. The best way to keep your dog from overheating is to keep them hydrated. Take a portable pet bowl with you when you’re away from home, so your pet can always drink fresh water. Learn how to tell when your dog isn’t getting enough water:
- Wet mouth
- People with droopy eyes
- People with weak skin
In order to check the elasticity of your dog’s skin, you can gently pinch some skin on the back of his neck. If his skin takes a long time to get back to where it should be, he may be dehydrated.
To avoid overheating, try to work out and play during the cooler parts of the day. Take a walk in the early morning or at night instead of at noon. At a time when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, it is more likely to be hot. Then, you might also want to cut your walk short. Take two 15-minute walks in the morning and evening instead of one 30-minute walk during the day.
Make sure that if you have to take your dog for a walk during the hottest parts of the day, you choose a route that doesn’t make you climb steep hills. The extra work isn’t good for you or your dog. Take short breaks in the shade if possible.
Though your dog doesn’t have sweat glands and can’t cool off by sweating, you can still use the power of evaporation to help keep her cool. You don’t need to wet your dog’s vests, shirts, collars, or bandanas to help keep them cool and healthy even on hot days. In the summer, you can put a wet cloth on your neck to stay cool. These dog clothes work the same way.
You can do a lot to keep your dog from overheating by not leaving him alone. When he is outside, you should keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t get too hot. You should never leave your dog in a parked car, even for a short time. This is very dangerous for your dog. The temperature inside a car can reach lethal levels in just a few minutes, and cracking the windows doesn’t help at all.
You can help your dog avoid overheating by changing the way he does things when it’s hot outside. If your pet gets sick because of the heat, you should know what to look for and be ready to act quickly.
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