beat summer heatDid you know dogs don’t sweat?  Well, not really.  Though they have a few sweat glands (mainly on the pads of their feet), their primary way of cooling down is by panting.  So, the hotter the air, or the more physically demanding the activity, the less effective panting is at cooling a dog down.

A common scenario that causes heat stroke is leaving a dog in a hot car (anything over 72°F outside); but overexertion, humidity, lack of shade, and dehydration are also common culprits.

What can I do to prevent heat stroke?

  • Exercise in mornings and evenings when it’s cooler outside.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water (inside or out).
  • Provide shade or keep dog indoors when temperature or humidity is high.
  • Use cooling technologies such as the Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler™ to help cool your dog during physical activity.
  • Hike near shade or water.  A quick dip in a lake or river can do wonders to cool down a hot pooch.
  • If using boots on your dog to protect them from injury and hot terrain, be sure to remove the boots frequently to let the paws breathe and cool.

How can I tell if my dog suffers from heat stroke?

  • Excessive panting
  • Bright red, blue or gray gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Increased body temperature (over 104°F)
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Seizures or a coma

What should I do if my dog shows signs of heat stroke?

  1. Move dog to a cool, shaded area
  2. Submerge the dog in cold water or spray down with a hose
  3. Stop the cooling process and dry the dog when they temperature is reduced to 104°F
  4. Encourage the dog to drink water
  5. Seek further advice from your veterinarian

2 thoughts

  1. What about how often to give your dog water? I offer water so often that she only drinks it every 4-5 times I offer it. I just don’t want her to overheat but if I had some idea of how often to make sure she gets water, it might ease my mind some.

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