7 ways to protect your dog from heat stroke and hyperthermia
With temperatures rising above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity all around, summertime livin’ isn’t always easy — especially when it comes to protecting your pup from the dangers of hot weather.
In fact, increased body temperature can lead to heat stroke and hyperthermia and can lead to multiple organ dysfunction, according to PetMD.
Here are seven tips from pet experts to keep your dog cool in the heat and avoid dangers under the sun:
— Keep your pet hydrated
Make sure Fido has lots and lots of water around to keep him cool. Dehydration affects all dogs and typical signs of dehydration include drooling, bloodshot eyes or sluggishness.
— Be aware of overheating symptoms
Symptoms include increased heart and respiratory rate, fatigue, drooling, excessive panting, dry or pale gums, glazed eyes and high body temperature.
— Do not leave your pet alone in the car on a hot day
According to the ASPCA, it only takes 10 minutes for your car temperature to climb to 102 degrees — and that’s when it’s only 85 degrees outside.
Leaving your window slightly open won’t help much, either. Your car will still probably overheat.
— Think before you shave your dog
It’s not always a good idea to shave your dog in the summer heat. In fact, the fur provides some protection from the sun as well as flies and mosquitoes. Check with your vet to see if your dog requires a summer shave.
— Exercise your dog in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler
Don’t overdo physical exertion in the summer months, but when you take your dog out for a walk or run, be sure to do so when it’s a bit cooler outside.
— Protect your dog’s paws
Hot pavement can burn your dog’s paws and can quickly overheat him or her.
Luckily, there are quite a few products on the market to help avoid hurting puppy paws, including moisturizers, paw wax, dog shoes, socks or — and yes, they exist — shoe suspenders.
You should also avoid letting your dog rest on hot surfaces, such as sidewalks.
— Visit the vet in the spring or early summer
Make an appointment before the hotter months to check off any necessary vaccines, medications or other treatments deemed necessary by your vet. Flea and tick prevention medicine will likely be administered at this time.
This is also a great time to discuss general injury prevention under the sun with your vet and ask any of your lingering questions, including what to do if your dog does suffer hyperthermia or heat stroke.