Updated: Jun 20, 2022
Everyone loves summer. It is usually the time of the year to go outside and enjoy the heat of the sun. Summertime can also mean a good time for your dog to have fun outside. However, when the temperature outside shoots up, be sure to protect your furry pet from the scourging summer heat. Whether you take your dog to the park, take them for a ride in the car, or play fetch in your yard, heat can be tough on your pet.
Prolonged exposure to heat can put your dog at risk of heatstroke. Heat exhaustion can cause the body temperature of your pet to rise above the healthy range. Since dogs cannot regulate their body heat, it can result in heat exhaustion (which can be treated at home) to severe heatstroke, which causes your pet to pass out, run a high fever, or worse, develop organ failure.
Keeping your dogs cool during the summer is essential.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke in Dogs
Taking care of dogs in hot weather is critical, especially during the peak of summer. If you worry about heatstroke, the signs of overheating in dogs can be easily spotted. Make sure to watch out for the most common symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke:
Excessive Panting - Hyperventilation or excessive panting is a sign of heat exhaustion. Flat-faced dog breeds, such as pugs, are more at risk of heat exhaustion because of their inability to pant efficiently.
Dehydration - The most common symptoms of dehydration in dogs are a dry nose, excessive panting, visible tiredness, and sunken eyes.
Excessive Drooling - Keep an eye for thick and sticky drool.
Fever - Watch out for a dry and hot nose and body temperature that goes above 103°F as it can be a sign of fever.
Abnormal Gum Colour - If your dog’s gums turn bluish, bright red, gray, or purple, it can be a sign of dehydration.
Decreased Urination - Overheated or dehydrated dogs produce less urine.
Rapid Pulse - To check the pulse of your dog, place your hand on their chest near the front elbow joint. An elevated pulse rate indicates heat exhaustion. The pulse rate of the dog depends on its size. The pulse rate tends to be slower in bigger dogs, while the pulse rate in small dogs is faster.
Muscle Tremors - Heat exhaustion can trigger shivering or shaking in dogs.
Lethargy or Weakness - Overheating can make your furry friend sleep more than usual. Some dogs can experience trouble standing up or walking.
Vomiting or Diarrhea - Heat exhaustion can cause your dog to excrete bloody or abnormally soft stools.
Dizziness - If you notice your dog having trouble walking in a straight or keeps bumping into furniture, it may be caused by dizziness due to heat exhaustion or dehydration.
How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Summer
Summertime is not only for people to enjoy. Your pup also deserves to take pleasure in the warm sunshine and enjoy some fun summer activities for dogs. However, you need to take a few precautions to prevent heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Here are some summer dog care tips to keep in mind:
Provide Plenty of Cool, Fresh Drinking Water
Wherever you take your dog—be it to the beach or in the backyard—be sure to bring plenty of fresh, cold water for your dog. Before going for a walk or hike, fill a dog bowl or ice cream container with a quarter of fresh water and freeze it. Once frozen, fill the bowl up with water. Be sure you have enough water to last the whole trip. If you need to know how to cool down dogs, carry frozen treats and give them to your pooch every 15 to 20 minutes during activity.
Avoid Exercising in Midday Heat
Check the heat and humidity levels. If it is 30℃, avoid any form of exercise with your dog on a hot summer day. Still, if you want to take your pup for a walk, do it early in the morning or evening. Even on cooler days, be sure to check the temperature of the pavement as asphalt can get too hot, especially during the day. Small changes in your dog’s daily routine can ensure their health and safety.
Use a Cooling Collar or Vest
Letting your dog wear a cooling collar or vest is one way to cool their body down. Cooling collars and vests are filled with a special cooling gel that helps regulate their body temperature so they stay cool for a few hours.
Cooling vests should be doused regularly in cool water. As the water evaporates, it helps cool down the body of your dog.
Never Leave Your Dog in Your Car
Even on cooler days, leaving your dog inside the car can be extremely fatal as the temperature inside can rise dangerously high.
If you are planning a road trip with your dog in summer, be sure to:
Keep the AC on while driving or parking the car, but never leave your dog alone.
Avoid parking your car in direct sunlight.
Watch out for any signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke, such as panting, drooling, discomfort, or dizziness.
Groom Your Pet
Your dog tends to get mats and tangles if they have not visited the groomer for a long time. Grooming your dog can help keep them cool. Avoid shaving or clipping their fur without consulting the vet or groomer, especially if they have mats and tangles.
Keep Your House Cool
If you are running an errand and leaving your pet for a few hours, be sure to leave the air conditioner on and close the curtains. However, if you do not have AC, simply turn on the fan and open the windows to let the breeze in. Better yet, you can leave your dog in a nearby doggy daycare in Etobicoke.
If you are looking for a professional dog sitter in Etobicoke who can take care of your dog while you are away, call Hot Diggity Dogs Toronto at (647) 931-9103. Have peace of mind knowing that your furry friend is taken care of by a team of bonded and professional dog sitters.