Ahh, the good old dog days of summer… a time for making memories with our doggos, having fun, and frolicking around. Let’s not forget that heat exhaustion in pets is a common problem you can face this summer if you aren’t careful in the hot temperatures.
The truth is—we all get hot, even our dogs. So, how do you know your pet is overheating? Continue reading to learn about heat exhaustion in pets, the signs and how to keep your fur-baby stay cool for the rest of the summer.
What is Heat Exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion is otherwise known as hyperthermia, which is a dangerously elevated body temperature. Your pet can overheat if their body temperature exceeds 102.5 degrees. Elevated temperatures are always a cause for concern, and your pets should always be kept cool and hydrated during these hot summer months, even if they are in good health.
As humans, we have the ability to sweat, which is the body’s major way to keep cool. However, our dogs cannot sweat like us. Dogs sweat through the glands in their paw pads. Yes, that’s right, their paw pads! This is how your pups try to keep cool in the hot weather, along with panting. However, it’s not as effective as sweating as we hoomans do. If heat exhaustion is left untreated, it may lead to heatstroke, which can cause your pet to collapse and even suffer organ failure. We don’t want that!
What are the signs of Heat Exhaustion in Pets?
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of when your pet is getting too hot. You know your dog best. Therefore, you can tell when they are acting strange. Nevertheless, here are some signs that your dog may be experiencing heat exhaustion:
- Excessing Panting
- Excessing Drooling
- Changes in gum color (their gums may turn bright or dark red)
- Their tongue might turn blue
Heat exhaustion symptoms need to be taken very seriously. The last thing you want is for your dog to develop secondary problems and end up with something that is irreversible. If you notice any of these symptoms, intervene immediately with the tips below.
What Not to Do
If you suspect that your pet is dealing with heat exhaustion, do not give them a cold bath, or pour ice cold water over them. Cooling them down too fast can be just as bad as them being too hot.
If your pet has collapsed, do not pour water directly into their mouths. This is a choking hazard and can make the problem worse.
How Can You Help?
Get your pet into a cooler place immediately, preferably one that is air-conditioned so their body temperature can decrease. You can also offer them small amounts of water every few minutes, but do not force them to drink any water if they don’t want to.
You can also take your pets’ temperature every couple of minutes to ensure their body temperature decreases. If it isn’t going down after five minutes, you must immediately bring your pet to the veterinarian.
If their temperature does stabilize and go down, you can stop taking it with a thermometer and allow them to relax.
Additional Tips to Prevent Heat Exhaustion in Pets:
There are so many things you can do to make sure your pet stays comfortable all summer long. Use these additional tips
- Check your local weather report to double check temperatures before you go outside.
- Typically, the sun is at it’s peak between 2PM and 5 PM. Avoid going out between those hours if you can.
- Stay in the shade, and try walk on grassy areas
- Bring water with you on walks. Don’t forget a bowl for your dog. A collapsible water bowl is a realy good option.
- Don’t ever leave your dog in a hot car. The minute you turn off your car and the air conditioning stop, heat will begin to accumulate inside of your car making it very toasty for your pet.
Heat exhaustion is simply a mild form of heat stroke. When you notice the signs and symptoms of your dog getting to heat exhaustion, you must intervene right away. Practing safety measures will keep you and your pup safe all summer long!
If you aren’t a fan of rhe dog days of summer, not to worry! Comfy Cozy Pet Sitting is here for you. Click here to book your daily dog walks with us to keep your pet happy and healthy!