What is heat stroke, anyway? Why should I be concerned? As it continues to heat up in Texas, we need to be very cautious when exposing our dogs to the brutal temperatures outdoors. Dogs don’t sweat like humans, which means they can’t cool off as easy as we do. Sure – dogs pant, which helps them cool off but it’s not as effective as we think. Remember, our dogs are domesticated. They’ve been long removed from their days in the wild so we can’t think they can manage the heat like their ancestors. Heatstroke can be deadly but, you can prevent it!
The first step in prevention is being able to identify when your dog is displaying symptoms of it. How do I know if my dog is suffering from heat stroke?
These are the signs of heat stroke in your dog: Excessive panting Dizziness Bright red or pale gums Bright red tongue Staggering Temperature of 104 degrees Excessive Drooling Excessive thirst Seizures Thick saliva Increased pulse or heartbeat Vomiting Glazed over eyes Depression Unusual state of lethargy Keep Cool – Prevent Heat Stroke
- Don’t leave your dog unattended in the car. The temperature can rise to deadly levels within ten minutes!
- Plan for walks and any other forms of vigorous exercise for early morning and late afternoon or evening hours when the temperature is cooler.
- Your dog should have plenty of shade to lay in when he’s outside. Consider the movement and position of the sun so he always has a place to seek refuge. Dog houses retain heat so a dog house may not be the best option.
- Get a kiddie pool so your dog can regulate his own body temperature. He’ll also appreciate the opportunity for some summer fun.
- Keep your dog groomed and brushed. A short hair cut of about one inch long is perfect. Shaving is highly discouraged as your dog’s furry coat is natural protection from the sun. It prevents sunburn and is also a cooling insulator.
- Provide your dog access to water at ALL times.
- Never muzzle your dog.
- Take extra care with pets that are older, have any health issues or are obese.
- Avoid the beach and other places that don’t allow your dog access to shade.
How are you keeping your dogs cool this summer? Tell us about it!