Summertime Dangers – Heatstroke in Dogs

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It is hotter than heck in Houston already, and I just had my first dog die from heatstroke. He was left in the backyard and succumbed to effects of the high temperatures and humidity. By the time he was discovered that he was in trouble, he was scooped up and brought immediately to our hospital. Unfortunately, he died before we could even start treatment. His body temperature still registered 108 degrees on the thermometer.

Why are dogs so vulnerable to the effects of heat?

They can’t sweat. The only way they can cool themselves is with panting and the evaporative cooling of the moisture off their tongues. If the humidity or the temperature is too high, they cannot cool their core temperature enough to sustain themselves. This is especially more evident in dogs with short faces, such as bulldogs, Shi Tzus, boxers and other dogs.

So, what can you do to help your dog keep his cool?
If at all possible, keep them indoors. If they have to be outside, make certain they have plenty of shade and cool fresh water.
Do not leave your dog unattended in a car for any length of time.
When taking your dog for a walk, do so early in the morning or late in the evening.

If you have a smaller dog, consider a dog stroller.

Test the asphalt or concrete with your bare hand before walking your dog on the surface. If it is too hot for your hand, it may burn your dog’s feet. I have already had one Husky with burned paw pads this week alone.
The beds of trucks can also get too hot for your dog’s feet.
If you take your dog walking a lot, consider getting a cooling bandana and dog boots to protect their feet.
Take water for your dog when you are going for a walk.
A few precautions can make the difference between life or death for your dog
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