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How to Combat Heat Exhaustion in Your Dog This Summer

With summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time to learn about heat exhaustion in dogs and the ways you can prevent your dog from falling ill this upcoming season. Heat exhaustion is a type of hyperthermia that derives from a dog being exposed to intense heat that their body cannot regulate. When this happens, the dog’s body temperature climbs higher than the safe range to a level of 105F or higher, which can result in dangerous and even life-threatening outcomes. 

Signs of Heat Exhaustion In Dogs

When a dog is experiencing heat exhaustion they may display mild to severe symptoms, including the following:

·       Rapid panting or difficulty breathing

·       Dehydration including lethargic behavior, sunken eyes, or a dry nose

·       Excessive drool

·       Increased exterior body temperature

·       Red, purple, or dry gums

·       Rapid heart rate

·       Shivering, shaking, or other forms of muscle tremors

·       Weakness, mobility challenges, or collapse

·       Vomiting or diarrhea or bloody stools

·       Seizures

Be Mindful of the Temperature

On very hot days it’s crucial to be mindful of the temperature. If the weather is unbearable for you, it’s unbearable for your dog. Therefore, when it’s too hot outside, keep your dog indoors as much as possible with the air conditioner or fans running to maintain a stable temperature. If your pet needs to go outside, keep their time outdoors to a minimum and provide them with fresh water the minute they return inside.

Hydration Is Key

Dog’s do not sweat to regulate their body temperature the way that humans do. The only sweat glands your dog has are on the pads of their feet, as such, their only way to cool down is by panting, relaxing, or drinking water. That’s why it’s vital to ensure you keep plenty of fresh water accessible to your pet, ensuring their water bowls are always full. Furthermore, when you go exploring outdoors with your dog, it’s essential to pack plenty of water to help them stay cool and hydrated throughout your adventure.

Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car

A beautiful 80-degree, summer day can spike the temperature inside of a parked car to 100 degrees in just 10 minutes. This means that as your dog is already more susceptible to intense heat and heat stroke, if they are left inside of a parked car they experience heat stroke or even death in under 15 minutes. It’s crucial to never leave your dog inside of a parked car, no matter if you roll the windows down a bit, or if you will only be gone for a minute.

For more helpful tips on keeping your dog safe and healthy this summer, contact your trusted veterinarian today.