The Threat Of Canine Heatstroke
Many people don’t realize that dogs are highly susceptible to heatstroke. Without our quick intervention, our four-legged friends can suffer permanent damage or even die within minutes.
The main reason for this is that dogs do not have a very efficient cooling system. Unlike humans, dogs do not have an extensive system of sweat glands. Instead, they cool down primarily by panting. They also release heat by vasodilation, that is, through the dilation of their blood vessels. Additionally, dogs release a very small amount of heat by sweating. In the scorching summer sun, the canine cooling system simply cannot lower their body temperature enough to avoid heat stroke.
The symptoms of heat stroke are excessive drooling, panting, vomiting, loss of coordination and physical collapse. When you see any of these symptoms, you must react quickly. Wet his coat with cold water and call the vet immediately.
Never leave dogs alone inside a car. A car can turn into an oven in minutes once the air-conditioner is off. No matter how briefly you think you will be away, it does not justify leaving your dog inside your car.
Especially in summer, always be certain that your dog has access to clean drinking water at all times. Carry a water bottle on your walks. Try to walk your dog either in the early morning or late in the evening when it is cooler.
Watch out for heavy panting or weakness. They might be signs of heatstroke. Be particularly careful of overweight dogs, older dogs, and dogs with short noses like pugs, boxers or the bull breeds. They can get heat stroke more easily than others.
If it is too hot, the best form of prevention is staying indoors. You can still do training exercises at home. Teach your dog new tricks and practice old commands to stimulate his brain.
Since their paws can burn on hot pavements, consider getting doggie booties for your dog if necessary.
Light-colored dogs are more susceptible to sunburn, especially on their ears and noses. Sun damage can lead to skin cancer. If going out, cover your light-colored dog with a shirt or cloth to protect his skin from the sun.
Take your dog to a professional groomer to ensure that his coat is short and tangle-free. This will help him stay cool in the summer heat.
Taking Your Dog Swimming
Take your dog for a swim if he likes swimming. Make sure that he take a break every ten minutes, so that he can rest or relieve himself. If possible, take him swimming during the cooler part of the day. If your dog is swimming in saltwater, bring clean drinking water for him. Drinking salt water will make him sick.
Watch him when he is playing in the water. If he struggles to catch his breath, vomits, bloats or seems disoriented, there is a high chance that he is a victim of water intoxication or salt water poisoning.
Bathe him after a swim in the sea to remove excess water and salt sticking to his coat. The salt can irritate his skin after drying.
If you suspect that he has inhaled water, take him to the vet immediately to avoid complications.
I hope that you find this information helpful!