In The Summer Heat

Karen Mounts

We are all concerned about the rising temperatures this Summer. We worry about our kids staying out too long and suffering from dehydration as well as ourselves. But, are we concerned enough about our pets?

Would you be comfortable sitting around outside when the temperature is between 95 and 105 degrees? Your pet isn’t crazy about the idea either. The ideal internal temperature for a dog is 102 degrees. This does not mean they can survive outside in 102 degrees!

Heatstroke causes fast, shallow breathing and a rapid heartbeat. It can occur in some breeds in as little as 15 minutes. Your dog will run a very high temperature (104 degrees or above) and may be in shock. A dangerously overheated dog will probably die without prompt treatment.

When you suspect your dog of Heatstroke, immediately spray the dog with cool water; pack ice in the groin area and around the head, neck and ears. Wrap the dog in cold, wet towels. Take your dogs temperature every 5 minutes to ensure it is going down. You should also continue to gently pour or spray cold water on the body AND on the pads of all feet. The pads of their feet and their panting are how a dog’s body keeps itself cool. Please use caution as bringing the temperature down too fast can cause just as much harm. Seek professional care at once.

Most cases of heatstroke are preventable. Never leave your dog inside a closed car or a poorly ventilated kennel on a hot day. Minimize the exercise and try to go for walks early in the morning or late in the evenings. Dogs need fresh air, sufficient shade, and access to plenty of water during the hot weather. Never leave your dog outside without shelter from the sun or without clean water.

Please bear in mind that this article is for your information only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary care.