Caring pet owners already know how dangerous it is to leave their dogs in the car. However, leaving pets outdoors or in hot, unventilated, indoor places on hot summer days can also be extremely dangerous. What people forget is that their dogs cannot handle the heat the same as humans do. Dogs do not have sweat glands as humans do, except for a few on their feet. They do not perspire and can only rid their bodies of heat by panting, which is not enough when the temperature soars.
This is especially true with brachycephalic (dogs with short, flattened noses), such as Boxers, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, Pekinese, etc. And animals’ fur coats retain heat, making warm temperatures even more uncomfortable. This can cause them to suffer more quickly from heat stress. Dogs with heavy coats, heart or respiratory troubles, those who are exercising too much in the heat, as well as overweight, very young, infant, and elderly dogs all need special consideration in the heat and have a greater likelihood of developing heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when normal body mechanisms cannot keep the body's temperature in a safe range.
HEAT STROKE SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
*A rapid or erratic heartbeat/pulse
*Rapid breathing, or struggling for breath
*Exaggerated panting, or the sudden stopping of panting
*Increased, excessive, loud, heaving, irregular panting or the sudden stopping of panting
*A very high body temperature - usually, cell damage begins to occur at body temperatures over 106 degrees
*Excessive drooling, or frothing at the mouth
*Dark red gums
*Barking or whining
*Anxiety or agitation
*Incoordination - stumbling and/or trouble standing or walking
*An anxious, vacant, or staring expression
*Listlessness or weakness
*Shaking or seizures
*Collapse or unconsciousness
Other signs of heat stroke can include some or all of the following:
*Dry mouth and nose
*Lack of urine production
*Weakness and muscle tremors
*Dryness and redness (or dull grayish-pink or blue) of the inside of the tongue, mouth, lips and gums and gums - OR -
*Drooling and excess salivation
*Glazed eyes and/or dilated pupils
*Difficulty standing or walking
WHAT TO DO:
REMEMBER, AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS
WORTH A POUND OF CURE IN THE CASE OF HEAT STROKE.
Heat Exhaustion occurs with exercise, particularly on hot, humid days. The symptoms are similar to those of heat stroke, but may not be associated with an elevation in body temperature, as is the case with heat stroke.
*Dog begins huffing and puffing or gasping for air
*Dog begins to weave when s/he walks because of dizziness
*Dog lies down or collapses and cannot get up
*Dog becomes unconscious
*Collapse or fainting
*Muscle cramps (seizure-like tremors)
*Abnormally rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing
Depending on the
seriousness of the situation, these are the steps an owner should take if
his/her dog is suffering from heat exhaustion:
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR DOG IN HOT WEATHER: *Walk your dog in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. *Provide constant access to fresh water. *If possible, keep your dog indoors in a cool, well ventilated or air-conditioned part of the house. *Air conditioning is one of the best ways to keep a dog cool, but is not always dependable. To provide a cooler environment, freeze water in soda bottles, then wrap them in a towel or tube sock. Place them on the floor for the dog to lie on. You may also place ice and a small amount of water in several resealable food storage bags, cover them with a towel, and place them on the floor for your dog to lie on. *If you do not have air-conditioning, place a wet towel on the floor, (or use ice bags as explained above), or purchase a cooling pad for your dog to lie on. *You may want to invest in a "Cooling Jacket" for your pet to wear in hot weather or in unavoidable situations where your dog must be in hot temperatures. If your pet is outside during the day, consider investing in a Cooler Mat or a Cooling Bandana (they can be purchased from "Drs. Foster and Smith" or many pet supply sources). *Do not leave your dog in the car, muzzle or confine him/her without shade or confine him/her to concrete or asphalt surfaces. *If your dog lives outside, make sure s/he has plenty of fresh, water, and that his/her house or bed is in the shade. For an outside dog, an automatic dog waterer is a good way to provide clean fresh water. *If your dog must be outside on a leash or cable, be sure it is long enough for your pup to reach full shade and that there is nothing for the leash or cable to become entangled in. You do not want to prevent your pup from reaching his/her shade and water! *After walks, or when your dog seems warm, wipe down the fur with a washcloth or towel rinsed in lukewarm water. Wring the cloth out just enough to keep it from dripping, and soak down the fur of the head, inside the ears, above and under the neck, on the tummy and groin, and on the tops and bottoms of the feet. *Keep pets with breathing problems indoors. *Wetting down your dog with cool water or allowing him/her to swim can also help maintain a normal body temperature.
*Avoid taking your dog in the car with you. If you are accustomed to letting your dog accompany you in the car, do not feel guilty about leaving your pet behind on hot summer days. Your dog will be much happier and safer at home with shade and plenty of fresh cool water. No one should EVER leave a pet in a vehicle - no matter how briefly they intend to be away. Temperatures inside a parked car can rapidly reach dangerous levels, even on relatively mild days, and even if the car is parked in the shade with the windows slightly open. Dark-colored cars especially can become very hot inside - even on days that do not seem too hot to take your dog along. In just minutes, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to well over 120 degrees or more. Even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening.
information was compiled using the following resources: