Hot Weather Advice...
As we enter the hot Texas summer, please remember to follow these safety tips and learn to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion in your pets.
Heatstroke in Dogs: Know the Signs
- Raised temperature (101.5° is normal)
- Rapid breathing and panting
- Excess salivation and thickened saliva
- Fatigue or depression
- Muscle tremors
If you spot these signs, get your dog inside and contact your vet. Wrap your dog in cold wet towels, especially the underarm/belly/groin area. A fan may be used on the dog during the cooling process.
Check your dog’s temperature every five minutes and end the cooling treatment when the temperature is down to 102°. Avoid cooling too rapidly to avoid shock. Allow access to cool water, but don’t force your dog to drink. Your vet may push IV fluids if dehydration is a concern.
Dehydration in Dogs: Know the Signs
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth
- Gently pinch a fold of skin at the top of the neck. Is it slow to snap back?
Not all signs of dehydration are easy to detect. If you suspect your dog may be dehydrated, a trip to the vet is recommended. Offer clean cool water. Try different bowls, adding a splash of carrot juice, chicken broth, or pieces of a favorite fruit to one of the bowls to encourage drinking. Some dogs enjoy a few ice chips in their water dish.
Other Things to Remember:
- Walk your dog in the morning hours, before the sidewalk becomes too hot for your pet's paws.
- Don't overexert your dog. If your dog begins to lag behind or tries to sit down, STOP and allow your pet to rest.
- When dining out with your pet, bring along a water dish and find a shaded area to sit.
- NEVER leave your dog alone in a parked car. It only takes minutes for a car to heat up to deadly temperatures, even with the windows cracked.
- Be prepared - know which emergency vets are nearby in case your dog needs IV fluids or other life-saving treatments.
If you have a Pug, Bulldog, Pekingese, Boxer, or any dog with a “short face,” be aware that they are at a higher risk of overheating.
The structure of their airways means that they are unable to pass air quickly over the tongue through panting to keep their bodies cool. These dogs take special care, and that means absolutely no exercise outdoors in hot or humid temperatures.