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Avoid Heat Stroke- 5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer


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The hot temperatures of summer are here to stay but we still want to enjoy the outdoors safely. Learn the signs of heat stroke in your dog and 5 ways you can keep your dog cool in the summer.


We are in the dog days of summer! The days have become unbearably hot and uncomfortable but we still want to get our dogs out to exercise and play. Unfortunately, dogs don’t have the ability to control their body temperature by sweating like us and are unable to tell us when they are not feeling well. It’s important to know the signs of heat stroke in a dog and how to make time outside enjoyable and safe.


What are the Signs of Heat Stroke:


By definition, heat stroke or hyperthermia occurs when the body is unable to dissipate heat normally due to exposure to hot environments or during strenuous physical exercise. Body temperatures from 105F to 110F are suggestive of heat stroke.


Look for:

  • Excessive Panting

  • Excessive drooling

  • Red mucous membranes of mouth

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Dry nose

  • Quiet or poorly responsive

  • Vomiting

  • Blood from mouth or in stool

  • Seizures

  • Muscle tremors

  • Ataxia (staggering)


What is the Treatment of Heat Stroke?


  • Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency!

  • You should move your dog to a well ventilated, cool area.

  • It is important to use COOL, not cold water to pour over their body.

  • Apply rubbing alcohol to the footpads to help increase perspiration.

  • Take your dog to the Emergency Vet immediately.


5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

  1. Leave a cooling mat outdoors to lay on or a raised cot which allows proper ventilation. This cooling mat needs to be filled with water one time and stays cool. I recommend this canopy if you do not have shade in your yard or patio.

  2. If your dog breed is known to have restricted airways I suggest having your dog wear a cooling vest or jacket when outside. Here is a great cooling vest. Cooling bandanas work the same way, simply get it throughly wet and place on your dog. Keep in mind you will have to periodically check to see if the vest, jacket, and bandana are still wet.

  3. Give your dog a frozen treat such as this dog-friendly ice cream.

  4. If you have a yard, I recommend a dog pool such as this one or leave the sprinkler on while your dog plays outside.

  5. The most important thing you can do is simply leave your dog at home and walk them in the cooler parts of the day.




Other Tips:


  • NEVER leave your dog in a hot car! Not even for a few minutes! The temperature in a car rises quickly, even if you leave a window open.

  • Use Dog Sunscreen- Yes, dogs can get skin cancer too!

  • Check the pavement using your hands before starting a walk and protect paws from the hot pavement by wearing boots.


We hope you are all having a fun and SAFE Summer!

Websites for further reading:


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800390/


https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/caring-for-your-dog/heat-stroke-and-heat-exhaustion.html


https://www.iowaveterinaryspecialties.com/student-scholars/canine-heat-stroke-literature-review



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