Leaving Your Dog in the Car
While walking your dog during hot weather is definitely a risk, one of the major causes of heatstroke is leaving dogs in the car — even for a few minutes.
Dr. Connelly reminds pet parents never to leave their pets alone in a parked car:
What to Do if You Suspect Your Dog Has Heat Stroke
According to BluePearl Veterinary Partners notes, “Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums are all signs of heat related distress. If your pet is panting uncontrollably or collapses, take the animal to your veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately.“
And Dr. Connelly if pet owners notice these symptoms, they should run cool (not freezing) water over them with a hose or in the tub.
Then wrap cool, wet towels around them and fan them on the way to the animal clinic. Even if owners cool their pets down, they still need pet veterinary care and possibly pet meds.
BluePearl Veterinary Partners cautions, “Don’t give sports drinks or electrolyte supplements to pets. Dogs cool off by panting and they do not sweat like people. Supplements like sports drinks can actually harm animals and make pets sick.”
The Texas Veterinary Medical Association suggests:
Older dogs may find it harder to move around and get out of the sun, especially if they have mobility restrictions. Puppies are at risk, too, because theyâre not fully accustomed to the hot temperature. Add a point to the number on the chart above if your pup is elderly or younger than 6 months.Â
Walking Dogs in Hot Weather: Things You Should Know!
Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, influenced what many people refer to as the dog days of summer. Although it doesnt have anything to do with temps getting hotter and more sultry, our ancestors once believed it did. Thats where this phrase comes from—our earthbound puppers have nothing to do with it! They also dont have the chance to fan themselves with their paws and tell us how warm it is, but they have other ways of letting us know theyre heating up.
One clear sign of how hot is too hot for dogs is if your poochs tongue is hanging long and shes panting a lot. Canine cooling doesnt happen by sweating, as humans will do, but rather through panting: when moisture inside your dogs mouth and on her tongue evaporates, this helps her thermoregulate.
Bonnie Bragdon, DVM, MS, is co-founder and president of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association. She says excessive panting is one sign of heat exhaustion. “Others include lowered energy, unwillingness to move or walk, and rising body temperature,” she adds. So beware, as unchecked heat exhaustion leads to heatstroke in dogs.