Signs of Heatstroke in Your Dog
With the high temperatures across the country and the dangers that presents to dogs who have to walk in the heat with their owners, I have found that I carry a backpack with items to combat heatstroke in my dog, Clem. Here are some warnings and what-to-dos for taking your pet out in the heat.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR for any reason
Do know that dogs are affected differently by heat – you don’t have to be hiking for a dog to experience heatstroke.
Signs of Heatstroke
- Excessive panting, with the tongue hanging out the mouth longer and wider than usual
- More salivation than normal, sometimes drooling
- Heart pounding
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Check the gums – if they are white the dog is in extreme distress. Press the gums and if the pink tone does not come back immediately your dog is in trouble (white gums)
- Wobbling, disoriented
WHAT TO DO:
- Your dog MUST be cooled down as soon as possible. Carry your pet to air conditioning fast if possible. Get him/her out of the sun.
- Carry a rectal thermometer for your pet. Take his/her temperature. If 104°F or higher, put him/her in a tub of cool water or hose him/her down – you must lower the temperature and quickly.
- Carry two or three ice packs in your backpack and apply to your dog’s groin. It’s a small thing that helps in an emergency to cool your pet.
- Cool his/her paws
- ONCE his/her temperature goes below 104°F, STOP the ice or water treatments so your pet does not go into hypothermia.
- Always keep cold water in your backpack.
- Buy a cooling pad for dogs and take it with you in the backpack.
Above all, pay attention.
If you need to buy boots for your dog to keep the heat from the asphalt from hurting him/her, do so. Watch that you walk your dog when it is cooler in the day. Use common sense and BE SURE to carry preventative measures with you. Heatstroke can strike at any moment in the summer. BE PREPARED.