Beating the Summer Heat

Most everyone knows how dangerous the summer heat can be. Heat stroke and hyperthermia claim human victims every summer, and the hotter the temperatures, of course, the greater the risks. It is important to take care of yourself, but also remember to take care of your pets, because the heat can be fatal for them as well.

Tips for Surviving the Summer:

  • Keep plenty of cool, fresh water easily available for your pet.

  • Make sure that the water bowls can not be easily tipped, or put out mutiple bowls in case of accidents.

  • Older pets are more susceptible to the heat, so keep a close eye on them and watch their breathing habits.

  • If a dog spends a majority of its time outdoors, make sure to provide them with a shady spot so they are not forced to stay in the sun the entire day.

  • Add ice cubes to their water!

  • Exercise your pets in the early morning or late evening when the sun is at its weakest.

  • Freeze their treats. It will keep them cool and busy.

  • Place a fan in their area to keep them cool.

  • Ask your veterinarian if your dog will benefit from hair trimming.

Signs of Danger

If your dog is in heat distress, they might experience symptoms such as vomiting, fatigue, drooling, heavy panting or difficulty breathing, diarrhea, and/or seizures. To treat this, make sure to take your dog’s rectal temperature every 10 minutes or until their body temperature falls below 102.2°F. If the dog’s temperature is below 102.2°F, moving them to a cool location is sufficient. If a dog’s temperature is above 104°F, spray or immerse them in cool (not cold) water. You can also apply cold packs to their groin area, as well as wipe their paws with cool water.

Even if you feel like you’ve treated your dog successfully, it is advised to still take them to see a veterinarian. Heat stroke can cause serious internal problems that go unseen unless taken to a professional.