Tips to keep dogs safe from soaring summer temperatures
Published Monday, July 16, 2012 11:07AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 16, 2012 11:12AM EDT
The dog days of summer are here. But this year’s soaring summer temperatures may also be hurting your dog’s health. Personal dog trainer Caroline Applebee shares these tips to keep man’s best friend safe from sunburn and heatstroke.
Signs of overheating in a dog can involve heavy panting and dark red gums. Sometimes they can become confused. At that point they need to be taken to the vet,” Applebee said on Monday on CTV’s Canada AM.
Some dogs are also are more susceptible to the heat. This includes older dogs and puppies, as well as overweight dogs and breeds with a heavy or dark coat of fur.
Short-nosed or flat-faced dogs such as Bulldogs and Mastiffs also have a greater risk of experiencing heatstroke.
Dogs with short, light coats can also be prone to sunburn, said Applebee, owner of Raising Rover consulting services in Toronto.
Yet even with the best of care, dogs can feel the effects of the sun. Should this occur, Applebee shared these simple tips to revive dogs suffering from heat exhaustion.
If a dog is showing the signs of heat stroke, move it indoors immediately and let the animal rest in a cool room. An air-conditioned spot is ideal.
Next, contact your veterinarian and let them know of the animal’s condition.
According to Applebee, most dogs will survive a trip to the vet’s office. In fact, veterinarians may even recommend a dog is cooled off before they are transported to their office.
To do this, Applebee recommended filling a tub with a few inches of cool water and placing your dog in the liquid to set for a while, until the animal appears more alert.
Prevention can also ensure a dog’s good health during an extended summer heat wave.
First and foremost, do not leave dogs in a locked car or a confined, poorly-aerated shed or garage on hot days.
“People just don’t realize how cars can heat up,” said Applebee.
“Cars can reach fatal temperature in minutes, even with windows cracked open,” she said.
According to a Stanford University study, the interior temperature of a car can reach 40˚C in as little as 10 minutes even on a mild summer’s day.
Dogs can suffer brain damage, organ failure and death if their body temperature should reach 40˚C or higher. To avoid such disaster do not leave dogs unattended in cars or when they play outdoors.
Give dogs plenty of shade and water when they are in the yard or out for a stroll.
“Bring water along for them to drink in a stainless steel container. That’s best,” said Applebee.
Finally, walk dogs in the mornings or evenings when temperatures are cool and keep their coats trimmed and well-brushed to beat the heat.