How to Protect Your Pet from Dog Heatstroke in Pasadena, CA
Dogs are quite susceptible to the heat, but many pet owners are not aware of this. As a result, many dogs each year suffer from heatstroke that could have been avoided. Heatstroke can be life-threatening in dogs, especially if your pet does not get prompt treatment. Most dogs need treatment within half an hour of getting heatstroke to prevent death.
If you are worried about dog heatstroke, you need to be sure that you know what to look for and how to protect your dog from this condition. There are some simple ways to keep your dog cool when it is hot out that you should know about to ensure your dog never gets heatstroke. Prevention is key when it comes to heatstroke, and educated owners will be able to keep their dogs healthy no matter how hot it is outside.
Know When it is Too Hot Out
One of the best ways to protect your dog from heatstroke is to be sure that they stay inside when it’s too hot for them to go outside. As soon as the ambient temperature is 80 F or warmer, your dog should stay inside or someplace cool. Being out in the direct sun or exercising while it is this hot can be deadly to your dog, no matter how old they are or their breed.
If you are not sure if the temperature outside is safe for your dog, you can place your hand on the pavement outside. If the ground is hot, your dog needs to stay inside. Remember that your pet’s feet are one of the only places that they can sweat, and having their feet against the hot ground can prevent them from cooling down.
Make Sure They Have Water
Having access to lots of fresh, clean water is key for dogs. Even when it is not that hot out, if your dog gets dehydrated, they might be at risk for heatstroke. Dogs are not able to cool their bodies off very effectively without water, and dehydration can be the inciting factor that leads to the heatstroke event. Dogs that need to be outside in the heat should, at minimum, have access to as much water as they want.
It is common for people to forget to bring water for their dogs when they go hiking or walking, or to the dog park. This can set the dog up for a heatstroke event very readily. Always having water with you and a collapsible dog bowl so that your pet can drink even on the go.
While your dog might think that it’s fun to exert even when it’s hot, you need to be sure that you do not allow or encourage your dog to play hard when it’s hot out. Even young dogs can get severely overheated playing in the heat of the day. Dogs are very driven to engage in play, and this can lead to heatstroke when the weather is not safe for dogs to be exerting.
Even if you are playing with your dog in the shade, this can still be a risky choice. Dogs can only sweat through their feet and cool themselves by panting and drinking water. Exposing your dog to exertion when it’s hot out is just not a good idea for a variety of reasons.
Provide Enough Ventilation
Even if your dog is not outside in the heat, if the place they are kept gets warm and has poor circulation, they can still get heatstroke. This is part of what happens when dogs get heatstroke from being left in the car when it’s warm or sunny out. The outdoor temperature does not have any bearing on the temperature that a small and enclosed space can reach with a warm body in it.
Wherever your dog is kept when the sun is out, and it’s warm needs to have good ventilation. This is one of the key aspects of keeping a dog cool that many people forget about. This applies to your home as well. If the air is very still and there is no circulation, you will need to at least get a fan into the room that your dog is living in.
Signs of Heatstroke
Knowing what to look for when it comes to heatstroke is important. Since dogs need to get treated for heatstroke right away, recognizing the signs is key.
- Heavy panting
- Red or blue gums
- Increased salivation
- Distressed behavior
- High heart rate
- Wobbling or loss of balance
These symptoms often show up very quickly as soon as your dog has begun to get overheated. Paying attention to these signs can save your dog’s life. Getting your pet to the veterinarian immediately is key. Call the vet as you take your dog to get treatment so that they are prepared to get your dog on a heatstroke treatment protocol right away. There is not a moment to lose when it comes to heatstroke.
Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs is Essential
If you own a dog, preventing heatstroke is one of the things that you should have on your mind every time it’s hot outside. Dogs of any age can get heatstroke, and many owners are not aware that it is so easy for a dog to get seriously sick just due to the temperature.
Protecting your dog from heatstroke is often as simple as keeping them inside when it’s hot and making sure that they have access to water. You will need to get used to checking the temperature before you spend time outside in the heat with your dog and leave them at home if you want to go for a run in the middle of the day. Keeping your dog from getting too hot also requires having air circulating in the place where they are kept. Paying attention to these details might save your dog’s life when the weather is hot.
If you have concerns about your dog and heatstroke call Altadena Pet Hospital at (626) 798-0738 or book an appointment online.