Now that the dog days of Summer are here, it's important to keep an eye on your pup for signs of heatstroke. Along with playing at the beach and enjoying long walks, simply spending time outdoors when the temps soar can put your pooch at risk of heat stress or heatstroke. Not sure what to look for? 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.
If you notice your dog having a hard time breathing or he seems disoriented after spending time outdoors in the hot sun, then get your pup inside pronto, as the conditions are very serious. If your pet does become overheated, then you need to immediately lower his body temperature with the following steps:
- Move your pet indoors or to a shady area and apply cool water over his body. Lowering your dog's core body temperature is essential, but it's important that the water isn't too cold.
- Next, apply ice packs to your pet's head, neck, and chest.
- Offer your pet small amounts of water, either with a dish or letting him lick ice cubes.
- If your dog is still lethargic or having difficulty breathing, then head to your vet immediately.
Along with knowing how to handle heatstroke, make sure to take the time to prevent your pup from overheating:
- Have water available for your dog during the hot Summer months. Bring along a water bottle to offer to your pooch while playing outdoors.
- Take breaks while enjoying a game of catch or taking long walks when it's extra hot outside. And allow your pup to pant, which is his way of regulating his temperature.
- Head to shady areas with your pooch after spending time outside — or go for a swim, which cools everyone down.
- Never leave your dog unattended in the open sun. And keep a close eye on older and overweight dogs, making sure they are in well-ventilated areas during the hot Summer months.