Warm Weather and Pet Safety
Warm Weather and Pet SafetyPosted by Korman Res | Warm Weather and Pet Safety
Not only can we become overheated in warm weather, but so can our pets. Sadly, dogs are particularly at risk for life-threatening heatstroke during the summer months, because they are often left outside for prolonged periods or left in hot cars. Below are some tips to keep our four-legged friends cool and comfortable on warm days:
- If your dog must be outdoors on hot days, make sure there is a shady area for him or her to rest. Doghouses are not suitable shelter in hot weather because they trap heat. Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water to drink at all times. A kiddie pool filled with fresh water is a fun way for your dog to cool off outside.
- Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle on a warm day. It can take only minutes for the temperature inside to rise over 100 degrees and for your dog to develop heatstroke.
- Avoid exercising your dog too much on hot days. Early morning or evening walks are best.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand because they can burn your dog’s paws.
- Brachycephalic (short-faced) dogs, such as Bulldogs, Boxers and Pugs, are very sensitive to heat because they don’t pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Brachycephalic dogs do best in an air-conditioned, indoor environment during hot weather.
- If you are at the beach with your dog, do not let him drink seawater. It will make him sick. Make sure to bring a bowl and fresh water for your dog to drink.
- Dogs are prone to sunburn (especially those with short hair, white fur and pink skin). Apply sunblock to your dog’s ears and nose before prolonged sun exposure, and try to limit the amount of time your dog is in direct sun.
Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke
- Heavy panting
- Rapid breathing
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Standing 4-square, posting or spreading out in an attempt to maintain balance.
- White or blue gums
- Lethargy, unwillingness to move
- Uncontrollable urination or defecation
- Labored, noisy breathing
If your dog begins to show early signs of heatstroke, you should immediately try to cool him down by doing the following:
- Apply rubbing alcohol to the paw pads
- Apply ice packs to the groin area
- Hose down with cool water
- Give the dog ice chips and a small amount of water
- Give the dog Pedialyte to restore the electrolytes
Take your dog’s temperature and continue cooling him down until his temperature reaches 101 to 102 degrees. If you are unable to cool down your dog, or if he shows any signs of advanced heatstroke, immediately take him to your veterinarian or the nearest veterinary emergency room.
By following these tips and knowing the signs and symptoms of heatstroke, you can avoid this easily preventable but often deadly condition.
Website referenced: http://www.akc.org/public_education/summer_safety.cfm