Beat the Heat: Keep your dog safe in the summer!

Summer has finally arrived, and that means it’s time for new adventures with your best friend!  Unfortunately, summer can also mean extreme heat, and heat exhaustion. While your dog may not be able to tell you when he’s had enough, there are some warning signs to look out for.

Dogs do not sweat the same way humans do. They have their own way of cooling down, called panting (exchanging warm air from their body, for the cooler air outside.)  The average body temperature for our furry friend is 100-103. When the temperature outside reaches 85-90 degrees, cooling off becomes more difficult.  Even just going for walks in temperatures like this can increase panting and loss of fluids.  Short nose breeds (such as Pugs, Boxers, etc.) are prone to breathing problems because they have less capacity to take in fresh air. As a result, you must be extra careful in reading the warning signs.

Symptoms for heat exhaustion include:

  • Rapid or frantic panting (tongue may be hanging much lower than usual)
  • Vomiting and bloody stool
  • Staggering and walking abnormally
  • Nose and ears hot to the touch
  • Body temperature above 103 degrees

If you notice your dog has any of these symptoms you should cool them down immediately. You can do this by spraying them down with a hose, soaking a towel in cold (not icy) water and rubbing the underside of their body until it feels cooler. After you do this you should see your dog’s vet to make sure your dog is healthy.

Now that you know what to look out for and what to do in the case of an emergency, get out there and have fun! Blaze trails and explore new horizons with your best pal!  Most importantly, stay cool and hydrated.

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