With summer in full swing, you may have noticed it is too hot outside for you to enjoy yourself. In many cases, if it’s too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog. To help keep your pup from overheating, make sure that your dog has shade readily accessible and don’t allow your dog to run or play for hours in the sun. Unlike humans, dogs release heat through panting. They are able to minimally sweat through their paws, but not enough to make a huge difference.
Here are a few ideas to help keep your pup cool in these hot temperatures:
- Fill a baby pool with water or ice for your dog to play or lay in.
- Let your pup play and run around in sprinklers.
- Freeze a water bottle for your pup to lay next to while they are sleeping.
- Give your dog a cold treat! My dogs’ favorite summer past time is a frozen bowl of ice. I freeze a bowl of water and throw some treats in to keep them interested. Once it is a block, I remove it from the bowl, and leave it in the yard for plenty of cooling, mind stimulating fun!
- Keep water readily accessible. This is the best option to keep your pooch cool during these squelching temperatures.
If you do think your dog is overheating, you may notice your pup displaying some of the following behaviors:
- Excessive drooling
- Darkened gums
- Swollen tongue
- Increased body temperature
- Rapid heart rate
These symptoms stand alone may just mean that your dog is overheated and needs a break from the outdoors. If many of the symptoms are present, your dog may be about to have a heat stroke. This is also referred to as hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is an elevation in body temperature that is above the generally accepted normal range. Although normal values for dogs vary slightly, it usually is accepted that body temperatures above 103° F (39° C) are abnormal.
What do you do in this situation?
- Put your dog in the bath tub.
- Run a cool (not cold) shower over your pet, covering the whole body — especially the back of the head and neck.
- Allow the water to fill up the bathtub as you shower the dog. Keep the head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
- If getting the dog into the tub is impractical, use a garden hose to cool the dog or place him in a pool of cool water.
- Apply a cold pack to the dog’s head to help lower his body temperature — a packet of frozen vegetables works fine.
- Massage the legs. A vigorous rubbing helps the dog’s circulation and reduces the risks of shock.
- Let the dog drink as much cold water as it wants. Adding a pinch of salt to the water bowl will help the dog replace the minerals he/she lost through panting.
If it’s just too hot outside for your dog to get the exercise he or she needs, remember there is always room at Sit, Stay N’ Play’s indoor facilities. Feel free to join your pup at our Indoor Dog Park, or leave Fido for a day of fun at our Doggy Daycare. Most importantly, stay safe during these hot summer months. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.