Summer is a great time to spend outdoors with your furry friends. The fun you can have with a properly trained dog while playing outside is second to none, in our opinion! Summer does present a unique set of risks, however. One that is often overlooked is the risk for heat stroke. Heat stroke can be fatal in dogs, so it is important to learn how to spot the warning signs. Here, we will look at the most important ones to watch out for.
If your dog is suffering from heat stroke, there are a wide variety of symptoms they may display. On especially hot days, be sure to keep an eye out for any of the following:
- Excessive Panting
- Difficulty Breathing
- Fast Heart Rate
- Excessive Drooling
Dogs at high risk
Certain dogs cope better with the heat than others. While all dogs can succumb to excessive heat, breeds with thick fur or short snouts are particularly prone to heat stroke. Dogs with thick fur will retain the heat from the sun more effectively than short hair dogs. Dogs with short snouts will not be able to pant at a fast enough rate to dissipate the heat. Dogs cannot sweat (save for minor sweat glands on their pads), so their main form of heat dissipation is panting. If your dog loves to give 110 percent while playing and training, they may also be at risk for heat stroke, as they may not take the necessary time to cool down and stay hydrated when they are exerting themselves. It is up to you to limit your dog’s exertion on hot days. Another common cause for heat stroke is leaving your dog in a hot car. Never, under any circumstances, should you leave your dog in a parked car. Doing so is unnecessarily dangerous and reckless.
If your dog is suffering from heat stroke, you should get in contact with your veterinarian as quickly as possible. In the meantime, cooling your dog in the shower or with a garden hose is a good way to safely lower their body temperature. Ice packs and frozen vegetables can also work. Make sure that your dog has cold water available to drink.
Playing in the sun is fun, but you need to be aware of the danger as well. If your dog is not well-trained, it will be harder to ensure that they do not over-exert themselves in the heat, because they will not respond to your commands to stop playing, for example. Contact us today to learn more about our dog training programs in Greenville.