7 Tips For Preventing Heat Stroke in Dogs

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heat stroke in dogs german shepherd running through sprinklerSummer can be a super fun season! You can hit the beach anytime, go trekking if you like or set up barbecue nights with your friends. But when its heat gets into full swing, you might want to start thinking about the dangers summer brings to your furry friend. Heat stroke in dogs is dangerous, but it is also easily avoided!

With that in mind, here are seven helpful tips that will help you prevent heatstroke in dogs this summer. To make sure your dog is always on the safe side, please keep on reading below.

Tips On How To Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs in Summer

1. Prepare Your Pup for Summer

You can start preparing for summer by trimming their coat, but do not shave it! Your dog’s fur does not only keep them warm but it can also protect their skin against the sun. If your dog has heavier coats, consider taking them to a dog groomer and have their coat trimmed for the hot summer months.

But, again, never shave your dog’s fur or else you will increase the risk of your dog getting sunburnt and overheating.

2. Pay Attention to the Current Health as well as the Breed of Your Dog

Heat stroke is often observed in dogs that are either very young or are seniors. However, dogs that are overweight, as well as those that are not acclimated to the hot weather, can also easily suffer from heat stroke when left outside in the heat for too long or are allowed to exercise outdoors for long periods of time.

Brachycephalic breeds such as French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and most of the short-nosed breeds, have a much higher risk for heat stroke in dogs.

3. Avoid Leaving Your Pup Outdoors to Prevent Dog Heat Stroke

Leaving your dog outside in the heat for any period is the number one cause of dog heat stroke. Bring your dog inside or into accommodations with controlled temperature. Keep the potty visits short and do not allow them to play outdoors for too long when the sun is still at its peak.

For your dogs who stay in a shaded area in your backyard, pay more attention to them during summer as they can quickly overheat. Take note that your dog’s natural body temperature is 102 degrees and when the environment gets warmer, it will be more difficult for your dog to lower its body temperature.

Once the temperature outside reaches the internal temperature of your dog, it will be impossible for your dog to cool down and they can quickly suffer from heatstroke.

dog heat stroke malinois swimming

4. Keep Your Dogs Hydrated

Make sure to bring water with you at all the times on your walks, even if it is just for a short stroll. Plan on taking frequent breaks so your dog can rehydrate. If your only time to walk your dog is during the full afternoon sun, wet your pet thoroughly with cool water from a hose, especially if your dog has long coats.

Don’t forget to test the water that comes out of the hoses coiled under the sun. Take note that the sun could considerably heat up the water and could even scald your poor pet.

It would also help if you just leave a bowl full of water in your backyard to make water more accessible to your dog. Don’t forget to refill this bowl often, to make sure that it will be fresh and cool at all times.

5. Limit Your Dog’s Exercise Outdoors 

When it is too humid or hot, you might want to reschedule your dog’s exercise time. As already mentioned, it will be difficult for your dog to cool down during humid and hot temperatures.

If you’re walking your dog around an exposed area of the road, keep your dog on the grassy area or dirt trails if possible. Take note that asphalt can become seriously hot during the summer and your dog’s paws might badly suffer from the hot asphalt.

You can check if it’s too hot for your dog to walk on by placing your bare palm on the road and hold it for about 10 seconds, if it is too hot for you, then it is absolutely too hot for your furry friend to walk on.

6. Use a Cooling Vest for Your Dogs

Cooling vests for dogs are heaven sent. They will allow you and your furry pet to go outdoors for a longer period of time without running the risk of heat strokes.

If you don’t know what a dog cooling vest is, it is actually a harness that has been specifically made for dogs to give them exterior cooling. Cooling vests are often used by working dogs that are required to stay outdoors no matter how hot it is. If you have a senior dog or an overweight one, you should let them wear a cooling vest even on cooler summer days.

beagle drinking water to prevent heat stroke

7. Drive Safely with Your Dog

Even if you think you don’t need the air conditioner on, your dog might. Make sure that your car has proper air flow and ventilation. If you are traveling with a dog in a crate, check whether the air can reach them. There should also be holes in the crate so the airflow will not be blocked.

Don’t ever leave your dog unattended inside the car even if you are parking under the shade or you left the windows open. Even it is just a few minutes. Your car’s internal temperature can quickly spike to very dangerous levels.

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs or Heat Exhaustion in Dogs

Now that you know how to prevent heatstroke in dogs, it is also important that you know the early signs of heat exhaustion in dogs in case it does happen to your dog. You also need to know what to do when your dog does become overheated. This will reduce the chances of heatstroke and death.

Everything For Our Pets has a gentle reminder for you: when it starts to get too hot, heat stroke in dogs becomes a very common health problem. Remember that this condition could be life-threatening to your tiniest family member.

Dog Breathing Fast / Hard? Why is my Dog Panting? Excessive Panting in Dogs!

Early signs of heat exhaustion can be a combination of these symptoms: excessive panting, increased salivation, dry gums that often get pale, hyperventilation, rapid or erratic pulse, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea.

If you notice these signs, immediately bring your dog to a cooler area with a good ventilation. You can also use a fan to cool them down. If they don’t improve within a few minutes, take them to the vet!

Take Your Dog’s Temperature: Normal Dog Temperature vs High Temperature

You can use a rectal thermometer to get your dog’s temperature. The normal body temperature of a dog is about 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets around 103 to 106 degrees, they might have moderate heating but if their temperature goes beyond 106 degrees, it is recommended that you contact the vet immediately or head to the nearest emergency center. Report your dog’s temperature as well as the symptoms they are exhibiting.

Reduce a Dog Body Temperature to a Normal Temp for Dogs

Place cool wet towels between their hind legs, under their armpits, and over their neck. Wet their ear flaps too, as well as their paw pads, with cool water.

Provide Your Dog with Cool, Fresh Drinking Water

Do not force the water into your dog’s mouth as they might only suck it into their lungs. If your dog refuses to drink, just wet its tongue with the water instead.

Also, you should not give ice to a dog that’s suffering from heatstroke. They might munch on the ice which can cool their core body temperature too quickly, shocking their system.

heat exhaustion in dogs, dog in car

Take Your Dog to the Vet!

You can call the vet in advance so they can prepare your dog’s treatment. Your little furball might need oxygen, as well as fluids and other treatments. With severe overheating, seizure or cardiac arrest are quite common.

There you have it, the different tips on how you can keep your dog safe from heatstroke this summer. Remember that dogs are very different from humans; while our bodies have been automatically programmed to cool themselves by sweating, our dogs don’t have this same ability. Make sure to pay extra attention to your furry friends during the summer months.

While we can tolerate the summer’s heat, your dog may suffer as the temperatures climb and the air starts to get humid. Of course, this is something we definitely don’t want to happen. Heat stroke in dogs is not something to take lightly!

Author Bio:

Hi everyone, my name is Thomas, founder of ForOurPet.com and I’m extremely interested in pets. I possess a dog and a cat so that I would like to share my knowledge of them based on my own experiences.

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