Heatstroke in dogs is a fairly common phenomenon. Although some dogs are acclimatized to summer temperatures, none of them are exempt from the dangers of rising heat. Since dogs do not sweat, but they pant, it is not possible to cool themselves off when the temperature rises above 100F.
Hyperthermia in dogs is caused when their body temperature increases beyond 103F. Beyond that, their bodies are unable to self-regulate. However, there are several ways in which you as a dog parent can ensure that your dog does not reach this tipping point.
In this article, we will tell you about 10 effective ways in which you can prevent overheating in dogs. Read on to find out how you can give your dogs a more comfortable lifestyle in the soaring temperatures of summer.
Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs are not difficult to spot, but you need to be attentive in order to alleviate them. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can prevent dog overheating.
- Do not ignore your dog’s health
Dogs with poor physical condition are at the maximum risk of suffering from overheating. These conditions can include old age, heart diseases, obesity, and respiratory difficulties. Instead of ignoring your dog’s health, you can give her a balanced nutrition which is going to keep her body strong even in there are underlying conditions.
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- Limit your dog’s outdoor time
Dogs depend on evaporation to bring down their temperature when they are panting. When they are outside, the humidity is higher making the evaporation much slower. This will lead to your dog needing more time to cool down. Therefore, you need to monitor the time that she plays outside and restrict it. Being outdoors can get your dog to experience a heatstroke faster than you suspect.
Moreover, you need to be careful not to leave your dog outside in the heat. Often, we let them play and forget about them while we are engrossed in our own work. This can prove hazardous and might be life-threatening for your dog if she is exposed to the heat unchecked.
- Walk them at either dawn or dusk
Since there is no way to prevent your dog entirely from stepping outside and letting her enjoy the fresh air, what you can do is walk her when the sun is rising or when it is setting. The air tends to be cooler and it will be easier for both of you to stay outdoors for a while.
- Do not shave your dog
Your dog’s fur coat is important because it not only keeps her warm in winters but also helps regulate her body temperature in summer. How? By preventing sunburns, for instance, since it acts as an insulator and keeps the heat away.
- Do not leave your dog in the car
It is illegal in some countries to leave your dogs in the car, since the temperature in the car soars higher than the outside temperature. If you ever make the mistake of leaving your pooch in the car during summer, a heatstroke is inevitable. Leaving your dog in the car might also cause accidents.
- Make your home temperature-controlled
Most breeds thrive in an air-conditioned atmosphere. However, if your living area is not air-conditioned, you can invest in an in-window AC unit for your dog. If even that is too expensive, get her a portable fan. Many portable fans in the market are dog-friendly and, even though they cannot replace an AC, they will give your dog some relief.
- Get your dog a cooling vest
This kind of vest is basically a harness which provides your dog external cooling. Cooling vests are more popular among working dogs (such as dogs in the police force) who have to spend long hours outside, and senior and obese dogs.
- Get a dog pool for your furbaby
We humans can think of nothing better than a cold swim to dip in as soon as summer arrives. For those of us who have a swimming pool in our homes, our dogs can jump in whenever they want to. But for others, there is the option to get a swimming pool for your dog in your courtyard.
- Consider giving your dogs icy treats
Dogs are unlike humans in this regard. We both crave icy snacks when the heat is threatening us. Icy treats can help your dog cool down faster. If your dog does not like normal ice cubes, you can try flavored ones by adding fruit juice.
- Remember what breed your dog is
Some breeds, especially the ones with a short muzzle, find it tougher to deal with hot temperatures. They are more prone to developing a heatstroke due to respiratory problems.
The signs of heatstroke in dogs are as follows:
- Increased panting
- Their tongue becomes bright red in color
- Difficulty in breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Diarrhoea (often accompanied by blood)
The signs of heatstroke in dogs will not go unnoticed if you care enough for your dog. If despite these precautions your dog suffers from a heatstroke, immediately bring her indoors and put her in a cool atmosphere (like AC or cold water). To avoid bloating, point the fan away from the dog.