While we all look forward to the summer months of fun and play outside with our dogs, we, as responsible owners, need to be aware of the danger signs associated with overheating in our furry friends. Pet Expert Cheryl Hansen joined us today, along with Ella who is adoptable through Clackamas County by clicking here, with valuable information on keeping your dog safe during summer's hottest days.
Recognizing overheating symptoms:
*Increased body temp. Normal is 100=102.5, a rise to 104 requires immediate action. 106 is considered dire and life threatening.
*Excessive panting. Dogs sweat through panting so it is normal for a dog to pant in the heat, but heavy or rapid panting may indicate a problem.
*Dark red, tacky dry gums and thick saliva
*Lethargy, won't get up, doesn't want to move or respond to commands
*Dizzy or disoriented
Here's how to safely cool your dog down:
*Stay calm. Your dog can sense your panic.
*Immediately move the dog out of the heat source and into a cool, quiet area
*Apply cool cloth or towels to the head and feet
*Submerge the dog is a tub of cool water, NOT cold. COOL. Cold water closes pores and constricts surface vessels
*Mist gently with a hose
*Offer small amounts of cool water, Pedialite is a good option too
*Get air moving through their coat by finger combing . Fur acts like a thermal blanket, holding in heat.
*After cooling the dog down, take to the vet for complete exam asap.
Preventing health complications from heat:
*Never leave a dog in the car in the heat. *If the hot asphalt scalds your bare feet, it will do the same to your dog's. Consider booties for your dog for walks and hiking.
*Don't over-exercise dogs in the heat of the day
*If the dog is outside during the day, be sure to offer shade and water. Check the dog often to ensure that the pup is doing well. Ideally bring the dog in during the heat of the day.
*Make sure the dog has access to clean, fresh water 24/7.
*Provide a kiddie pool in the shade.
*Pay special attention during the heat to short muzzled, obese or heavy coated dogs.
*Consider shaving a dog with a particularly heavy coat.
*Consider buying a cooling bed, neck wrap or towel for a dog that is chronically overheated.