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Dog Days of Summer

How is your dog affected by extreme temperatures?

Extremely high temperature can affect everyone but with dogs in particular, it can have devastating consequences indeed. However expressive dogs can be, they can't really voice how they feel about a particular situation so you to need to learn how to zero in on the cues that something might be wrong with them quickly. Temperature conditions during July and August are perfect for heat stroke, overheating or heat exhaustion as it is called for dogs. High temperatures are one thing, but high humidity is also very dangerous. When the internal body temperature of your dog reaches 103 and above it can have devastating consequences and can often cause death!

Know how to recognize the early signs your dog is overheating:
  • Extreme panting (Dogs use their tongues to cool off and so if your dog can keep his tongue in, that's a good sign that he's not struggling to stay cool.)
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Excessive drooling

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog's behavior, you need to cool him off as fast as possible. Offer him small amount of water only! Too much too quick and he might vomit and this could accelerate the dehydration process. Place a cool wet towel around his neck and under his legs. Use a fan if possible to blow cool air on him.

Some breeds are particularly prone to overheating related health issues.

Brachycephalic breeds (i.e. Short, smooshy, adorable faces) have a harder time breathing and taking enough oxygen during normal conditions, so imagine when they are struggling in the heat! English, French and even American bulldogs are extremely prone to overheating. Being short legged also means that heat radiates closer to their body. Senior and obese dogs are at higher risk. Keep in mind also the coat color of your dog! A black or dark coat will get significantly hotter than a lighter one.

Cooling Mats are great and they can help your pet cool off faster after a walk!

If you suspect your dog might have had a heat stroke you should seek to see your vet as soon as possible for a check up.
  • NEVER leave your dog in the car! No REALLY, not even for a quick stop!
  • Don't leave your dog outside if it's blistering hot, even in the shade but without ventilation his body temperature can rise dangerously.
  • Don't exercise your dog in the heat of the day, move his walks to the early morning or evenings when the sun as set or is not up yet.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water.

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