Tips on Keeping your Dog Cool This Summer

I was looking forward to spring this year, but somewhere I must have dozed off and missed it because the temperature is already in the 90’s, mosquitoes are carrying me away and fleas are multiplying by the thousands. The heat and parasites can also play havoc with your pets, especially your dog.Bulldog

Dogs are really susceptible to heatstroke. Unlike cats, that have enough sense to find some shade and just chill out, dogs get hyper and tend to run around too much. This excessive exertion can push even the most seasoned outside dog over the edge. Dogs do not sweat and can only cool themselves through panting. The moisture on their tongue evaporates and cools their core temperature. Sometimes, this delicate balance weighs in favor of the heat, especially in short-faced dogs like the pugs, bulldogs and Lhasa Apso. Just a few minutes in a hot car or an hour in the direct sunlight can increase their body temperature to a point that they cannot cool it back down. Dogs physically can’t pant fast enough to bring their body temperature back down to normal. When that occurs, heat stroke is sure to follow. The dog’s core temperature can climb quite rapidly to over 106 degrees and emergency treatment to cool your dog down must be enacted. High temperatures can cause organ damage and sometimes death.

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Signs of Heat Stroke include:

* Panting hard and fast
* Excessive drooling with thick, ropey saliva hanging from mouth
* Listless, or the inability to stand or walk

First step is to cool your dog down by bringing him in out of the heat and a cool water bath. If your dog is still not responding , then a trip to the veterinary clinic is warranted. Once at the hospital, further cooling measures will be started along with intravenous fluids.

The best treatment is prevention. Outdoor temperatures can sometimes knock out the most seasoned dogs. Be sure your dog has ample access to shaded areas. A pen with a shade cloth or a dog house with ample air flow will help. He must also have lots of cool water available. A bucket of water left in the sun gets too hot to drink. You may want to try the outdoor water fountains for dogs. The smart sonar sensor turns the water on so your dog will always have access to fresh, cool water.

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On walks, take some water for your dog and if he start panting too hard, take a break in the shade. Try using a dog strollers. for your smaller dogs. They still get to go with you, but they won’t get overheated or burn their feet. There is also now available the cool-it bandanna for the dogs. Much like the human model, you place the bandanna in the freezer and put it around your dog’s neck to help keep him cool. Always check their feet to make sure they are not getting burned.

Never leave your pet in a car. Temperatures in a car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. Cracking the windows simply will not keep the car cool enough for your dog. Keep your dog on the heartworm and flea medication all year round. Controlling the parasites will also make your dog’s summer more bearable.

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