Global warming has increased many folds and we have already witnessed the hottest February. God knows how higher the temperature could increase in the coming months. Summer has already hit many parts of the world. The heat is intolerable for us and the poor dogs may not stand well in the heat.
Dogs are vulnerable for heat stroke faster than us and they need special care. The heat stroke is a deadly fact and the pet owners should be well aware of the signs and know exactly what to do and what not to do to ease the heat from their body.
What Is Heat Stroke In Dogs?
Dogs also get heated up in the high temperature outside. What makes them vulnerable is that they do not sweat like we do. Sweating is the body mechanism to cool down the temperature. The heat built up in the dog’s body stays inside unless it sweats through their paws, which is lesser. It happens during lengthy exposure to the heated sun. Immediate action is required when the heat stroke hits the dog. The risks are higher in the short nosed breeds and the heavily coated ones. The dogs that are sick from respiratory issues could also be at the same risk.
The Signs Of Heat Stroke
- The dog will be panting too much and too fast. That is their way to expelling heat from the body.
- Another significant sign is that their tongue would be darker shade and the gums looks paler. The gum might even turn purple colored.
- The dog will be lethargic an could even collapse all of a sudden.
- Difficulty in breathing is also seen in many.
- Excessive drooling also hints to heat stroke. The saliva would be thicker and stickier.
- In severe cases the dog gets an upset stomach and shows vomiting or diarrhea.
- The heart beat would be much faster
- If you check the body temperature it would be above 40 degrees C.
Paws burning of the dog will also happen. If you notice that he dog is not being reasonable and is fidgety and trying to get your attention while you are busy window shopping, do know that the poor thing is burning its paws and that they have difficulty walking on the hot pavement.
What to do?
- Shade: Immediately get the dog out of sun and inside the home or in a shaded area. whatever you do, DO NOT USE ICE OR ICE COLD WATER to cool the dog. The cold can constrict their blood vessels and cause damage than relief. Use only a wet wash cloth and use it to cover the head and neck of the dog.
- Wash cloths: Covering the dog completely in a wet towel could cause the heat to retain inside the body. Keep changing the cloth. Cover the head, paws, abdomen, and their arm pits to cool them.
- Water to drink: Offer them cold water to drink or some ice to lick. If the dog is taking water, do not let him take too much water at a time.
Check their body temperature and if it has come down to 38-39 degrees C, leave them alone to cool it off on their own. The danger is gone. Cooling to much could lead to hypothermia in dogs that is another problem.
In severe cases, keep the wet wash cloths to cool them and immediately take them to the vet.
Prevention Against Heat Stroke
- Use dog shoes to protect their paw pads from the heat.
- Do not let them stay in the direct sunlight for longer.
- Never leave the dogs inside a locked car. The inside temperature of the car can increase rapidly and could cause heat stroke even if it is not summer outside.
- Carry some iced treats for them to lick occasionally. This will prevent the heating up of their body. It would also give some time out from the sun.
- Cooling collars are available in the market. If you are planning to be out for longer carry those collars and use them when the dog seems tired from the heat.