All of us dog lovers hear this every summer, but with temperatures hitting 100 degrees every day in San Antonio it bears repeating tips for keeping dogs safe in the summer heat.
Dogs don’t sweat like we humans do, and their cooling off mechanism, panting, is not as efficient as ours. If the air temperature they are taking in is too hot, panting does little to cool off a dog, and they can quickly become overheated. This is especially a problem for dogs like Pugs, Pekingese, and Boston terriers.
Signs of heat exhaustion in a dog are similar to those of shock, and include rapid, shallow breathing, labored breathing, heavy panting, weakness, general lethargy, drooling, red (instead of pink) gums, a very red, floppy tongue, or a very high body temperature (greater than 105 degrees).
If your dog is exhibiting signs of overheating, move him to a cool spot, and cool him down immediately by spraying him with cool (not cold) water or wrapping him in cool, moist towels, give him some cool (not cold) water to drink, and get him to a vet as soon as possible. It is not a good idea to use ice as your dog could go into shock.
Every summer we see a heartbreaking story on the news about a dog dying of heat stroke in a vehicle, so the first thing to remember is never leave your dog in a vehicle in hot weather, even in the shade or with the windows down. When the temperature is at 93 degrees, a car’s interior temperature can reach about 140 degrees in only 20 minutes!
In hot weather, truck beds can get scorching hot, especially those with dark colors, so don’t allow your dog to ride in the bed of an open pickup truck.
If your dog spends any time outside in the heat, make sure he has access to shade and fresh water.
If you walk your dogs, take them during the cooler times of the day. In San Antonio, that means before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Rick and I take Roxie and Gypsy for our walk about 7:30 in the morning in the summertime.
Another reminder about walks, is asphalt can get hot enough in the summertime to burn a dog’s paws. Before venturing out, check the asphalt with your bare feet or hands. If you cannot keep your hands or bare feet on the asphalt for at least three seconds, it is too hot to safely walk your dog.
By the way, we have finally added a picture of Roxie, myself, and Gypsy to the “About Us” page. Check it out and let me know what you think!
JeanJun 24, 2009 | 0 | Home Health Care for Dogs