Recognizing and Preventing Heat Exhaustion in Dogs

Recognizing and Preventing Heat Exhaustion in Dogs

Overheating in dogs is never something to take lightly. As the temperatures in the summer months heat up, it’s important to remain aware of how the heat can affect your pet. The number one summer-related injury is heat exhaustion in dogs. This injury can lead to serious and potentially fatal conditions such as heat stroke and cardiac arrest. There are several ways to help keep your dog safe and cool during the summer. Below are signs that your pet may be overheating and how to prevent it.

A dog suffering from heatstroke will display several signs:
• Rapid panting
• Bright red tongue
• Red or pale gums
• Thick, sticky saliva
• Depression
• Weakness
• Dizziness
• Vomiting – possibly with blood
• Diarrhea
• Shock
• Coma

Ways to prevent heatstroke/overheating in your pet:
• Always make sure your pet has access to plenty of clean, cool water.
• Keep walks at a gentle pace.
• Take advantage of cooler hours during the early morning and late evening.
• Pets release heat through their feet. Let them walk on the grass and avoid hot sidewalks or pavement. If you are unsure, place the back of your hand on the surface for 10 seconds. If you cannot keep it there, it is too hot for your pet.
• Make sure your pet has access to adequate shade from the sun and heat.
• Keeping long-haired or heavy-coated pets’ hair cut short during hot summer months will help keep them cooler.
• Never leave your pet inside a vehicle!

We are in the dog days of summer. Helping spot the signs of heat stroke can help prevent serious injury to our four-legged companions. Remember to bring plenty of water anywhere you go with your pets!

Also, check out this video from Jeffco Open Space about things you can do to help cool your pet down




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