Why Summers Are Risky For All Dogs

By May 19 | See Comments

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Most pet owners like to spend time with their dogs at the beach during the summer. You may feel that your active pet would like to run and play around and enjoy the outdoors with you. You might also take your friendly companion in your car to run errands in the hot summer months. But did you know that the inside temperature of a parked car during the summers is typically above 38 degrees? This is true even if when the car is parked in the shade.Several thousand dogs end up dying due to a heat stroke each year. While dogs are capable of tolerating high temperatures, they can only do so for a very brief period of time. Beyond that threshold, they could suffer from serious health problems such as brain damage, temporary unconsciousness and even death.

Signs of a Potential Heat Stroke

Summers are undoubtedly a risky time for your pets. Therefore, it is important to be aware of certain signs that might suggest a potential heat stroke in your dog:

  • Extremely heavy panting
  • Lethargy and/or sluggishness
  • Excessive salivation (this may end up in dry gums later)
  • Reddening of gums
  • Diarrhea/vomiting
  • Collapse

There are some dogs that are specifically susceptible to heat strokes. These include overweight dogs, dark-coat dogs and flat-faced breeds such as bull dogs and pugs. Vets recommend that brachycephalic or snub-faced dogs that suffer from heart or lung disease should be kept inside the house as much as possible, preferably in air-conditioning.If you suspect that your pet might be demonstrating the early symptoms of a heat stroke, you need to take immediate action by spraying the animal with some cool water. This should be followed up with a call to an ER.

Why Dogs Need Extra Attention in the Summer

Here is some background on how a dog’s body and its organs function during the summer. Dogs have been designed to release sweat only through their tongues and feet padding. This is the reason they “drip” excessively during the summers. Also, dogs usually overheat at a much faster rate as compared to human beings. And they take longer to cool down.Pet owners must exercise caution while cycling, walking or running with their dogs. These activities have the potential to cause a heat stroke, anxiety and other serious accidents. It is best to pick a comparatively cooler time of the say (late evening or early morning) for all such activities. Take enough breaks to help your dog recover and also carry sufficient water for rehydration. It is recommended that the dog runs on soft trails instead of asphalt and cement as it these surfaces can burn the animal’s foot pads.

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