Hot days are coming, and as the temperatures heat up, it’s important that you take precautions to make sure your dog is happy and cool on a hot day. Do you know the tell-tale signs of a dog who is suffering from overheating? You need to pay attention to your dog carefully, because your dog has a limited ability to cool themselves through panting, and aren’t able to sweat like humans do.
Each time you take your dog outside, you should make sure he has plenty of shade where he can cool off and get some rest. Always have water on hand for both of you as well, because hydration is important, even on days where the sun is hidden behind clouds. It’s still possible for you and your dog to get overheated. You should keep an eye on the sun exposure for both of you, and make sure your dog isn’t walking on hot asphalt – remember how sensitive dog paws are! If it’s 80 degrees and up, you may want to leave the dog home altogether.
Your dog can get overheated and have heatstroke, so watch for the following symptoms:
Are his gums dry or pale-colored?
Is he panting excessively, more than normal?
Is he drooling and it’s noticeably increased?
How is his breathing? Is it deep and rapid?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, your dog is overheating, and you’ll need to take action. Offer him cold water, but don’t force it down his throat. Make sure he drinks it himself or wet his tongue. Forcing him to drink water won’t help, because he might not be able to swallow. You should also try placing a towel that’s been soaked with cold water on your dog, and then get him to the vet quickly.
Your dog may be suffering heatstroke if he has any of these symptoms.
Is his urine dark-colored?
Is his back warm to the touch?
Is his nose dry and chapped?
Is he panting excessively?
If your dog has any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. You shouldn’t have him drink water, because he may get sicker. Instead, the vet will hydrate him with an IV, because dogs can have trouble swallowing when suffering a heart stroke.
There are ways for you to keep your dog from overheating in the sun, and you can use these DIY or store-bought materials easily. First, you can place a cloth soaked into cold water on your dog’s head, paws, and neck. You can also buy a cooling matt from a pet store or department store. These cooling mats come in a variety of sizes and styles, and range from $17.99 to $50.00, depending on the size and type you buy. You can use the cooling mat in your house or car or even outdoors to keep your pup’s body temperature regulated. Specifications may vary from model to model, but most dog cooling mats last 3-4 hours, then will recharge on their own when your pet is no longer lying on it. A doggie cooling vest operates with the same type of features but instead of your dog lying on it, your dog wears the vest to get cool. These vests are especially helpful for small dogs, though they come in a range of sizes.
You can also opt for a more fun way of letting your dog cool off in the sun, by letting him splash around in a kiddie pool for a bit. Just make sure that you keep an eye on him for overheating symptoms, as even dogs near water can get overheated! Not only will the kiddie pool be fun for him, but it will be probably be fun for you too!