Who doesn’t enjoy spending time outdoors on a bright sunny day? Feels great? It’s the same for dogs too, they do enjoy spending time out-of-doors. But plenty of sun exposure in the summer months can be fatal. It is fun going for a small trip with your fur baby to the countryside, mountains or even if it’s your garden. But it’s vital that you should know some of the biggest risks that your dog will face during the summer heat.
Too much of heat leads to organ failure and can actually kill your Fido even before you provide him with the first aid. As a pet owner, you should take care of your fur baby when he/she is out in the summer for a long period of time.
During the summer months, especially in the hot and humid climates, Heat stroke are a common issue among dogs. Not only for us, even animals can’t withstand this without a shade. This means your pets are less efficient at regulating heat and body temperature. It can affect dogs of any age, breed, or gender. So keep an extra eye on your fur babies to protect them from Heat stroke.
The main reason for this is, they can’t sweat off, so panting delivers an instant exchange of outside air. This reciprocity keeps your dog’s temperature normal. Sometimes when the outside air comes the same or greater than that of your pet’s temperature, then there’s a possibility of Heat stroke.
You might be walking or playing with your dog outside and in most of the cases you may not feel overheated in a warm sunny day but your dog’s body temperature could be rising up.
Not only the direct sun exposure, but also Dogs left in RV’s and Cars with or without the windows shut is one of the leading causes of sunstroke in dogs.
1. Never leave your dog in a car parked under direct sunlight.
2. Get smart and use a pet monitor to check the temperature and monitor your dog.
3. Carry additional bottles of drinking and splashing water.
4. Plan exercises and other outdoor activities when the outside temperature is cool.
5. Give immediate first-aid if your dog is showing any signs of heat stress.
Symptoms of a light Heat stroke are a body temperature of 104°C to 106°C. Sometimes excessive panting and other signs of discomfort show overheating in dogs. Bright red gums and thick saliva are the other common signs. When your fur kid’s temperature rises above 106°F, there are chances for his gums becoming pale, acts dizzy, bleeds from nose, vomiting and even diarrhea.
Excessive panting is the primary sign of Heat stroke. It’s how a dog cools down his/her body temperature.
Other than Panting, creating excess saliva helps your dog deal with heat better.
If your dog shows this sign, then it’s clear that your dog is feeling the effects of heat.
You need to check this and confirm that your dog’s body temperature is not above 103°F or 39°C and make sure he/she is healthy.
Your dog could be overheating if you see this sign. If your fur baby is experiencing it, take him/her to a vet immediately.
Your fur baby looks dull and inactive for a long period of time lying somewhere. You’ll think he/she is tired but the actual reason might be different.
If you see him/her walking with a loss of balance, give him a plenty of water and take him/her to a vet with no further delay.
You must bring your dog’s body temperature down to 102°F or less, which is the most important part than rushing the pet to the emergency clinic. But if the condition is severe, then they need veterinary attention.
The recovery period is based on the intensity of the Heat stroke. But in most of the cases, there’s no permanent recovery. Heat strokes result in permanent organ damage or anything severe to that is not recoverable, and your dog may be disabled for lifelong.
Once your dog gets discharged from the veterinary clinic, they may request a follow-up appointment for a regular checkup. And observing your dog at home for any pernicious signs is vital.
You must know this, there’s an increased risk for developing Heat stroke again after some time or in the future. Hyperthermia is not a simple thing, it can spoil the life of your fur kid, so keep an extra eye to watch your four-legged family member. And if it’s a mild Heat stroke, then you Fido can recover in a few days to a couple of weeks. However, it is advised to reduce the number of outside exercises, walks and other activities.
Heat stroke is often preventable. It is crucial to watch for the causes and signs of Heat stroke in dogs. In many cases, without complicated health problems, most of the dogs will recover. But severe cases of Hyperthermia leads to organ failure and other fatal issues. So, your dog might need a special diet prescribed by a veterinarian and ongoing care to recover soon. In exceptional cases, your dog can suffer some after-effects including irregular heartbeats and seizures.
There’s an increased risk of getting it again once your dog is affected by Heat stroke. So you must be prepared with all the precautions in hot and humid days to ensure your dog’s safety and happiness.
Keep your Fido in a cool space and avoid rooms with poor ventilation.
Avoid arduous exercises and other activities
Carry a Pet Temperature Monitor to ensure your pet is always in the safe zone.
Do not leave your dog in the basement or other areas with excessive heat.
Avoid going out or spending time on a warm sunny day
Provide sufficient shade and water when going out.
Your love, touch and care work well most of the time.
Carry Additional water bottles to splash when you think he/she is overheating.
Move your Fido into an Air Conditioned room in the summer months.
And finally, keep him at a good temperature always.
Hundreds of Dogs died last year in the United States endured heating related illness and hyperthermia. Try visiting any nearby veterinarian hospital to know more about the reported cases. Dogs, Cats and even other animals are dying every year being left outside in the summer months or in hot cars/RVs. And those numbers are just the ones that were reported.
It can affect any dog regardless of their breed, age and gender. Even a fit or an athletic dog can suffer hyperthermia or other heat-related illness. Some dogs with a weak immune are at even a greater risk.
Heat stroke in dogs is worse than you think. If not treated immediately, it can lead to death. It can cause severe damage to your dog’s organs, especially the bone marrow and liver. Most of the time, there’s no everlasting recovery. If your Dog had a permanent organ failure due to heat-stroke or any severe damage like this are not recoverable, and your dog may be disabled forever.
One-third of all the dogs survived had a “Severe functional impairment” that was not relieved even after 12 months. If your fur baby is experiencing any of the signs that we discussed earlier, take him/her to a vet immediately.
There are numerous amount of preventive measures to avoid sunstroke. Some of the commonly followed methods are providing enough water and avoid spending time outdoors when temperatures rise.
Do not let your dog go out when you feel hot and humid outside, if not provide shaded areas. But most times, these common prevention methods are not enough to save your Fido from heat.
Providing access to water anytime it the most important thing.
Feed them the summer foods that can keep their body cool and appropriate for hot climate.
Keep your dog indoors during the summer months or at extreme temperatures.
Use a Pet Monitor to check the temperature anytime and get alerts.
Carry additional bottles of drinking and splashing water.
Do not cage your dog outdoors without enough shade and water.
Avoid exercising or playing with your dog outdoors and other outside activities when the temperature is at its extreme or in the summer months.
Never leave your dog in rooms with poor ventilation.
Avoid leaving your dog in a Car/RV without adequate shade and water.
Plan exercises and other outdoor activities when the outside temperature is cool.
Wetting down your dog in regular intervals with cool water is a great idea.
Like for most of the health related problems, Dog Heat stroke can also be avoided with the help of ever growing technology.
If you are pet traveler, or a dog parent at home, you may take advantage of pet protection monitors that constantly monitors your dog’s environment temperature. They send alerts to your mobile/email when the surrounding or room temperature of your doggo goes above or below the range you set. This is a real lifesaver as it helps you save pets or dogs from heatstroke and frostbite.