It should come as no surprise that extreme heatwaves are bad for us – and our dogs. In fact, dogs can overheat in just 10 minutes outdoors during high temperatures, with the onset of heatstroke in dogs potentially occurring in just 30 minutes. This, paired with the reality of another summer featuring record breaking temperatures, means heatstroke is something every dog parent should be aware of.
With this in mind, read on for our number one tip on how to best prepare your dog to handle the heat safely, signs of heatstroke to watch for, and what to do if your dog seems to be suffering.
Top tip to prevent heatstroke: change your exercise habits
Instead of one long walk, it’s best to take your dog on several short walks throughout the day. Furthermore, don’t take them to the park during the day to play.
“Normally, we encourage exercising your pets as much as possible,” says Dr. Brett Levitzke, DVM and chief medical officer at Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group in New York. “But during extreme heat, it is not the time to take your dog to the park and play ball or toss a frisbee.” Instead, limit these activities to early mornings and evenings, and stay on the lookout for signs of heat stroke.”
Signs of heatstroke in dogs
Any of the following symptoms, or a combination thereof, are warning signs that your dog is overheating, in the danger zone for heatstroke, or already suffering this life-threatening condition:
Reddened gums/mucous membranes
Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
Elevated temperature (104 F and above)
Vomiting (with or without blood)
Diarrhea (with or without blood)
What to do if your dog shows signs of heatstroke
Be prepared to act quickly!
Consider these five tips on how to handle signs of heatstroke.
Seek immediate emergency care for your pet if they display any of the above signs. “Do not wait to seek emergency care if you think your pet might be experiencing heatstroke. The condition can present itself quickly, and your vigilance is crucial,” advises Dr. Levitzke.
Here’s to staying safe with your pooch under sizzling summer skies!
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