It’s important to realize that our four legged friends are much more sensitive to the heat than us! It’s our responsibility as canine guardians to ensure our pups are staying healthy and comfortable. With a heatwave on the way, be sure to educate yourself on this important topic and keep your pup cool!
Preventing heat exhaustion & heat stroke:
- Keep your dog’s water dish full with fresh cold water. If your dog prefers extra cold water you can even add some ice cubes to encourage them to hydration.
- Avoid walking or being outside during peak temperature hours. Take advantage of the long summer days and enjoy a fresh early morning or relaxing late night walk - you won’t regret it!
- Avoid walking on pavement or asphalt as dogs have sensitive paw pads that can blister and burn. Walking on a hot surface can also increase their overall body temperature.
- Pick shady trails with lots of access to fresh moving water. Always carry a collapsible rubber dog bowl and more water than you plan on needing. Take frequent hydration breaks in the shade.
- Don’t endanger your dog by leaving them in a parked car! If you see a distressed dog in a hot car safely remove them from the vehicle if possible and If not, call the RCMP or BC SPCA hotline: 1-855-622-7722.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke:
- Constant or faster than normal panting (hyperventilation)
- Dehydration: dry nose, tiredness, sunken eyes
- Excessive or thicker/stickier than normal drooling
- Fever - temperature of 106 degrees F
- Lack of urination
- Shivering and shaking
- Lethargy, weakness, and dizziness
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in excrement
Treating heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
- Relocate your dog to a cooler (preferably indoor) area with a fan
- Wet their body with cool (NOT cold) water paying particular attention to the ears and paws
- Once their temperature drops to 103 degrees F, stop applying water and remove the fan, offer them cool or lukewarm (NOT cold) water to drink
- Call your veterinarian ASAP as their condition will need to be monitored
If your dog loses consciousness or begins vomiting severely or seizing - head to a veterinary hospital immediately. Keep a particularly close watch on flat faced breeds as they cannot pant as efficiently and are more prone to overheating. Thanks for reading and taking the first important step in keeping your pup safe in the heat!