Summertime means hot weather and fun in the sun, but it can also be a dangerous time for dogs. Dogs can suffer from heatstroke if they’re not accustomed to the heat or are left in a hot environment for too long. Heatstroke can cause organ failure and even death, so it’s essential to know the symptoms and take steps to prevent it. In this article, we’ll explain what heatstroke is, how to spot the signs, and how to keep your dog safe during the summer months.
What is Heatstroke in Dogs, and What Are the Symptoms?
Heatstroke is a condition where the internal temperature of an animal’s body exceeds 103°F (39 Celsius). It could be due to excessive external or environmental heat sources and would often result in imminent death if not treated immediately. The critical point at which multiple organ failure occurs with impending death is around 107-109 degrees Fahrenheit.
While humans can cool themselves off by sweating, dogs don’t have this luxury. They pant to regulate their temperature, but this isn’t enough to prevent heatstroke. Entering a hot car is one of the most common ways dogs develop heatstroke. If your dog shows these symptoms, it’s essential to act quickly. Heatstroke is a severe condition that can be fatal if not treated promptly.
How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs
By taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your dog safe and healthy in the summer heat. Below are some tips and things to consider regarding heatstroke.
Dogs need access to fresh, clean water at all times. When choosing a water bowl for your dog, make sure it is made of a durable material that won’t crack or chip if your dog bumps it. A metal bowl can attract heat from the sun, which can cause your pup to burn its mouth.
The bowl should also be easy to clean to keep it free of bacteria. Place the water bowl in a shady spot, so the water doesn’t get too hot in summer weather. If you are away from home all day, consider investing in an automatic water dispenser to keep your dog’s bowl full. This is especially important if you live in a hot climate where your dog is at risk of dehydration. By ensuring your puppy always has access to cool fresh water, you can help keep them healthy and hydrated.
If your pup spends a lot of time outside, it is vital to provide them with a shady spot to relax. A shady tree or umbrella can help keep your furry friend cool and give them a place to escape the harsh sun. A common cause of heatstroke is a pet left in the yard without access to shade or water.
Even if the windows are cracked, temperatures inside cars can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes. That’s much higher than the outside temperature, and it can be dangerous for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.
When it’s 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car with the windows rolled up can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. And after 30 minutes, it will be 120 degrees. It’s best to leave your pet at home.
Short-nosed dogs, such as boxers and pugs, are more prone to overheating than other dogs. This is because they have a shorter snout, making it harder to pant and cool down. As a result, they are more likely to overheat during exercise or hot weather. Older dogs and overweight dogs are also at greater risk of overheating, as their bodies are less able to regulate their temperature. If you have a short-nosed dog, it is essential to take extra care in hot weather.
Early morning and evening are the best times to walk your dog. The earlier you walk in the morning, the cooler it will be outside, and the less likely your dog will overheat. Walking in the evening is also a good option if it isn’t too late at night. If it’s summertime, avoid walking during the hottest part of the day when temperatures are highest.
Dogs can quickly overheat, and walking during cooler times of day will help to keep them comfortable. By scheduling your dog walks for a part of the day when temperatures are lower, you can help ensure they stay cool while getting the exercise they need.
What To Do if You Think Your Dog Has Heatstroke
Heatstroke is a severe condition and can be fatal if not treated quickly. If you think your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, act fast and try these cooling methods. With quick action, you can help save your dog’s life.
What Are the Long-term Effects of Heatstroke?
The prognosis for pets who experience hyperthermia depends on a variety of factors. Some may recover quickly if their body temperature does not elevate high, but others will continue to suffer permanent organ damage or death.
Commonly Asked Questions About Heatstroke
Treatment for this includes giving them fluids and minerals through an IV and monitoring any secondary complications such as kidney failure or neurologic symptoms.
Giving your dog aspirin can lead to other problems, and there’s no guarantee that it will work. Let them drink as much cool water without forcing the issue, then put a damp towel on their back for relief!
Recovery can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Each dog has its unique makeup and will depend on factors such as age and breed.
Once your pup feels back to its usual self, you may resume its regular diet.