Summer means warm weather and plenty of opportunity to interact with your favorite pooch '" going on runs, trips to the beach, camping, hiking, swimming. But the dangers of heat exhaustion also loom over your dog's shoulder in the hot weather.
Remember, your dog wears a fur coat every single day in all sorts of weather and that a dog's natural temperature is much higher than a human's average temperature at 102 degrees usually, so you can imagine that hot weather to you is even hotter to a dog.
Also remember that dog's pant to help keep themselves cool; they can only sweat through the sweat glands in the pads on their paws.
To help minimize your dog's chances of heat exhaustion, do the following:
- Never, EVER leave a dog in a car, even for a few minutes. It does not matter if the windows are down and the car is in the shade. In hot weather, a car traps heat, like an oven, and can cause heat exhaustion within a few minutes. A large percentage of dog heat exhaustion cases are the result of leaving a dog unattended in a car.
- Keep drinking water on hand for you and your pooch. In hot weather, you want a cool drink, right? Well, so does your dog. You don't need ice water, but some cool water that your dog can drink will help them immensely.
- If it is too hot for you to be outside or to be exercising, then it is one-hundred percent too hot for your dog to be out of doors or running around, etc.
- Certain breeds are more susceptible to heat exhaustion, such as dogs with really thick coats, like Huskies or Newfoundlands. There are also breeds that sunburn easily, such as those with hairless coats, and certain small breeds, such as Italian Greyhounds, are not made to stand up to the elements at all.
- Learn the signs of dog heat exhaustion to keep an eye out for it.
- Avoid the hottest parts of the day for your daily walk or run.
- Stay in the shade if you can, and take a break every once in a while to cool down.
- Keep your vet's number handy, so you can call your vet if your dog should suffer from heat exhaustion at any time.
If you think your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion, move them into the shade and soak their coat with cold water '" and call your vet, because your vet can help you save your dog from permanent brain and organ damage and even death. You might not need to take your pooch to the vet, but you should call to make sure. Your vet will be able to tell you the proper steps and if your dog will need professional care.
Remember, it's never too early to call the vet if you suspect your dog might be suffering.