Recognizing the Symptoms and How to Take Action
It may be the last day of July but with August just around the corner, we’re far from the hottest season of the year being over! While summer days with your dogs are meant to be enjoyed outside together on walks, going for a swim, or playing fetch in the backyard, exposure to heat and heightened temperatures can potentially be dangerous to our four-legged friends. Dogs and cats can’t perspire and can only dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of overheating in your own pet so you can be aware and prepared for what to do.
Symptoms of Overheating:
- Excessive panting, drooling, or shortness of breath
- Change in color of tongue and gums: bright or dark red
- Change in state of tongue and gums: sticky or dry
- Elevated body temperature: a dog’s regular range is 104 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit
- Increased, rapid pulse or heartbeat
- Excessive thirst
- Bloody diarrhea or vomiting
- Disorientation, staggering, stupor, or weakness
Note: Short-nosed breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, etc., large heavy-coated breeds, and dogs with heart and/or respiratory problems are more at risk for heat stroke.
How to Cool Your Pet:
- Get your pet out of the heat: either find some shade or get them indoors with air conditioning and/or a fan as quickly as possible.
- Cooling water: place cool wet cloths on your dog’s neck, armpits, and on the back of their hind legs. Make sure that you use cool water as opposed to ice water as very cold water will constrict the blood vessels and impede the cooling process.
- Drinking water: offer your dog water if they are willing to drink, but do not force them. Offering your pet ice cubes to lick can also be a good alternative.
- Do not hesitate to contact your vet: If you suspect heat stroke in your pet, seek veterinary attention immediately.
P.S. Check out one of our older Bark News blog posts linked here that provides some tips for how to keep your pet safe in the heat as well as what we do here at Barkefellers to ensure the safety of our guests during the summer.