How to prevent your paw-pal from overheating…
Dogs don’t sweat like us but instead pant with their tongue out to cool down. If the air temperature around them is hotter than their body temperature panting won’t help and they can quickly overheat, suffer heatstroke or potentially worse!
Here are some tips to keep your puppy or dog cool and signs to look out for if you suspect your puppy or dog is suffering from the heat…
- Always provide easy access to drinking water. Fill up the water bowl regularly so it is full, cool and fresh and or use a bigger container or bucket. Supply more than one water source in case of spillage.
- Some dogs love ice blocks to crunch on as a cool and healthy treat.
- Another cool and sweet treat is watermelon. (Seedless and remove rind.)
- Ensure your backyard has shade such as trees, a veranda or shade sail etc.
- Allow your pooch inside into an air-conditioned or fan-cooled environment.
- Set up a sprinkler or a hose, which is always a fun way to spend a Summer’s day.
- Provide your puppy or dog with a small bathing pool or a bucket of water so they can splash in and cool down their bodies when they require. (Keep it shallow for puppies who may not know how to swim yet).
- It would seem like common sense but worth mentioning anyway, if it is a hot day remove any doggy outfits, costumes and accessories (other than a collar).
- Ensure long and thick coated dogs have a ‘Summer’ clip to them cool.
- Minimise exercise and active play time (utilise the cooler early mornings or late evenings to walk your dog).
- DON’T leave your dog in a car alone, especially on a hot day! Even if the car is parked in the shade with the windows down, it can still be uncomfortably hot and humidity can also be stifling!
- Excessive panting (more than usual)
- Rapid heart-rate
- Increased body temperature (above 39 degrees Celsius)
- Increased drooling and or thick saliva
- Reduced or no appetite for food.
- Little to no urine
- Bright red tongue
- Bright red or pale gums
What to do:
If you suspect Heatstroke:
- Seek immediate veterinary attention! Heatstroke can potentially cause unseen problems, such as swelling of the brain, organ failure and or clotting of the blood. On the way to the veterinarian, travel with the windows open in the car and or with the air conditioner on and in the meantime follow the tips below.
If you suspect your puppy/dog has overheated:
- Put your dog in the bath, tub or small pool of cool but not cold water.
- Run a cool but not cold shower over your dog, especially over the back of the head and neck.
- Cool down your dog with a garden hose set on a light shower or sprinkler setting.
- Apply a cold pack to the back of your dog’s head to help lower its body temperature.
- Allow your dog to drink as much cool water as it wants.
- Provide an air-conditioned or fan-cooled environment.
- If your dog’s condition isn’t improving seek Veterinary assistance immediately!
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