Now that the dog days of Summer are here, I'm worried about keeping my smooshy cool 'cause he can't get enough of the outdoors! One day, back when we lived in a humid climate, North and I went on a shopping adventure . . . well, more like a window shopping excursion under the guise of a long dog walk. I was peeking in some stores in NYC's West Village when North suddenly pulled me into one open door and promptly laid down in the air conditioned coolness! The salespeople oohed and ahhed over his silly move and insisted it was a sign that I should shop there. While I don't think North had heat stroke, he very well could have had heat stress – see the signs when you read more.
The signs of heat stress or heat exhaustion include heavy panting, rapid pulse, glazed eyes, a deep red or purple tongue, vomiting, lethargy or any unsteadiness or staggering gait.
Notice any of these? Get him inside pronto as the conditions are very serious and, possibly, life-threatening. If your pet does become overheated, you need to immediately lower his body temperature with the following steps:
- Move your pet indoors or into the shade and apply cool water over his body – you need to gradually lower his core body temperature on his entire body so make sure the water isn't too cold!
- Next, apply cold towels or ice packs to your pet's head, neck, and chest only.
- Offer your pet small amounts of water either with a dish or let him lick ice cubes.
- Get your pet to the vet as soon as possible . . . even immediately if his signs are severe.