Dog Overheating and How To Prevent It!

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Summer is upon us. For many, that means vacations, pool parties, BBQ’s and heat. Sunburns, hot cars, sunstroke, dehydration; all the bad things that go along with the summer months. For many, this is a way of life, especially if you live farther south, but no matter where you call home, it is important to be aware that you might not be the only one suffering from the heat. Your pets are also going to need protection from the sun and like us, they too can easily overheat and even die if not properly taken care of.

First off, prevention. Let’s start with the biggest one out there that many people still do and is probably one of the most preventable issues. Never, ever leave your dog in a car, even with the windows cracked. In just 70 degree weather, the interior temperature of a car can reach up to a 104 degrees in half an hour. And that is just typical spring time weather. During the summer, it can climb into the 180’s. Your dog has no way of escaping this kind of heat and can easily overheat and even die if left in a hot car for too long. Don’t take the chance, even for a minute.

If your dog spends a lot of time outside in the yard, make sure they have a shaded place to relax, along with access to a plentiful source of water. In some states where the weather gets up to the 90’s and higher, you might want to consider bringing them inside if they are normally an outside dog.

This goes hand in hand when walking or playing with your dog in hot weather. A lot of them will continue to play and run with their owners simply to please them, not realizing they are close to overheating. Always keep a close eye on their condition at all times.

So let’s say you suspect your pooch of overheating, what are the symptoms and how can you help them? Obviously panting is a big giveaway, so if you notice it is excessive, get them some water and shade immediately. They could also be drooling, acting lethargic and feel hot to the touch. If you suspect your dog is overheating, apply cool (not cold), wet towels to their body. You can also rub alcohol on their paw pads and ears to help draw out excess heat. If your dog doesn’t improve, get them to a veterinarian immediately.

Remember, summer time can be fun for you and your animal family but always be aware of the dangers it brings. If you do bring your dog outside, ensure they always have access to water and shade and never overwork or play with them until they are exhausted. Stay vigilant, stay safe and enjoy the summer with your furry pals.

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