2015-07-24 / Community

Paws Applause

Heat Exhaustion in Dogs

Unlike humans, dogs cannot perspire. The pads of their feet have their only sweat glands. Dogs cool themselves by panting and by convection. These methods cool the body by exchanging the warm body temperatures for the cooler air outside the body. If the air outside the body is hot, like inside a hot vehicle, cooling cannot occur. This is a recipe for heat stroke.

Signs to Watch For:

Increased heart rate • Excessive panting
Increased salivation • Bright red tongue
Red or pale gums • Thick, sticky saliva
Depression • Weakness • Dizziness

Vomiting (sometimes with blood) • Diarrhea

In the event of a heatstroke, cool your dog by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, under the forelimbs, and in the groin area. Do not use cold water, as you want to gradually return to normal temperature.

Keep pets cool and in the shade. Normal activity on hot days can be dangerous for dogs. Provide access to fresh water at all times.

Do not leave your pet in a hot parked vehicle. Even in the shade, your car can reach 140 degrees in 10 minutes.

Do not muzzle your dog.

Avoid places where there is no shade, like the beach and especially concrete or asphalt.

Wetting down your dog with cool water or allowing him to swim can help maintain a normal body temperature.

Air conditioning is one of the best ways to keep a dog cool. You may also make frozen toys for your dog to play with.

Common sense will help your pet have a safe summer.

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