As the temperatures are now sizzling around the nation, it is important for dog owners to recognize that dogs, like humans, can get heat stroke. Dog owners should educate themselves so they will know when their dogs are overheated and what to do about it.
Taking walks with dogs
If you take your dog on a walk or a hike in the heat, make sure you bring plenty of water and even some ice and a towel to help cool off the dog's undersides if he or she starts showing signs of heat exhaustion. If your dog starts to walk really slowly or pants excessively, it is time to stop, give him some water and bring your overheated dog home.
Make sure to go easy on your pup by taking water breaks in the shade every fifteen minutes for at least five minutes on hot days when you are hiking. When you are walking on hot sand or asphalt, your dog's feet can blister too. And always watch out for the metal manhole covers on sidewalks. Be aware of your dog's behavior and know what is abnormal for your dog. Excessive panting is always a sign that he or she is overheated.
Never, ever leave your dog in the car in the heat
Most of us have heard that leaving a dog in a car, even with the windows rolled down while you run into a store for something can be fatal. The inside car temperature can jump quickly on warm days as well as overcast days due to the concentration of UV rays penetrating the car's windows.
Be careful if you leave your dog outside in the heat
If you choose to leave your dog outside at home, make sure that the dog has plenty of cool fresh water to drink and plenty of shade. Dog runs and tie downs for dogs can be dangerous to your dogs when the sun changes position and the shade moves or disappears completely. You may have to provide a shade umbrella, small wading pool, or extra bins of water for your dog. I do recommend, if possible, that your dogs remain inside during the hot summer months. Less worry for you and your dog!
Signs of heat exhaustion
Some signs to recognize that your dog is becoming overheated include, whining, fidgeting, and excessive panting. If you can cool them off at this point, you can avoid the harsher condition of heat stroke which is very serious and can be fatal.
Bring your dog to the veterinarian if you think your dog is overheated
Always have your vet's contact information available in case your dog suffers from heat stroke. You also might want to know the closest hospitals and/or emergency rooms in case your dog gets affected (and it is always good to have these contacts readily available for any illness or emergency).
If you keep your dog out of the heat during the really hot times of day, keep him or her hydrated, you should have no problem during the hot summer months.