When it’s intolerably hot out, don’t forget to keep your animals’ safety in mind.
Heatstroke in dogs
Within minutes, your dog can suffer fatal heatstroke. Unlike us humans, dogs are unable to sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting. In order to regulate their body temperature and keep cool, they also release heat through their paw pads and nose. Imagine wearing a thick winter coat on a hot summer’s day and you’ll understand why dogs succumb to heatstroke so easily.
It is important to be aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs. These include:
- Excessive panting
If you suspect your pet is showing any of these signs, he may be suffering from the condition. The first thing you will need to do is move them to a cool place, preferably with a draught, wet their coat with cool water, and then contact your vet immediately.
It is so important to prevent heatstroke in dogs, as once a dog shows signs of heatstroke the damage is often already done.
How to keep your dog cool and prevent heatstroke
- Make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Fill a large bowl to the brim and put it somewhere that is easy to access for your pet. It is also important to carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
- On very hot days, you should walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day. That is in the early mornings and late evenings.
- Observe your pet for any signs of over-heating. If you are on a walk and you recognise these signs, stop and find a shady spot to rest and give your dog water.
- Never leave your dog (or any pet) alone in a car, even if the windows are open. The car gets much hotter than the outside.
- On very hot days, you can put ice cubes in your dog’s water.
- Be particularly careful with short nosed breeds and those that are overweight. These dogs can get heatstroke merely by running around.