Our summers have changed a lot. The heat wave is present nowadays and our animals suffer a lot from it.
How can we make sure that our dogs live the best way possible in this extreme heat?
WHAT IS HEAT STROKE IN DOGS?
Heatstroke can affect humans, but also our canine friends. Heatstroke is an increase in body temperature, often above 40. It should be noted that the average body temperature of a dog is 38.5.
This can happen after too much exposure to the sun without shade or without water to hydrate, or also after too much effort.
Our four-legged friends are more prone to heat stroke because a dog does not sweat like a human. Yes, dogs don’t have a sweat gland like we do and the only way for them to regulate their temperature is by breathing, therefore by panting.
It is important to mention that some breeds may have a predisposition to heat stroke: pugs, boxers, bulldogs, etc… All these dogs with a short muzzle may suffer more quickly than others because they have, due to their physique, more difficulties to breathe on a daily basis.
Certain health problems, such as obesity for example, can also be a risk factor for heat stroke.
HEAT STROKE IN DOGS
HOW TO SPOT HEAT STROKE IN DOGS
In order to spot the symptoms of heat stroke, here are a few signs:
Increased pantingDark or very pale mucous membranesHypersalivationGeneral weaknessVomiting/diarrheaLoss of balance
The first reaction to have in emergency is to cool the dog with a wet towel. Be careful not to immerse the dog in ice water as this can lead to thermal shock.
You can also put your dog in front of a fan to help him regulate himself. Then, quickly refer your dog to a veterinarian so that he can fully take care of him before his condition worsens.
HEAT STROKE IN DOGS
PREVENTING HEAT STROKE IN DOGS
In order to avoid this kind of situation, you can take some simple precautions:
Do not leave your dog in a car, even for a short time, because vehicles are poorly ventilated and the temperature can rise at an alarming rate and be dangerous, even deadly for the dog. Avoid too much effort in hot weather. Also be careful with olfactory activity because the dog cannot be in olfaction and breathing at the same time, which can promote heat stroke. Favour early morning or late evening walks to protect your dog. Change the water in your bowls regularly so that it is always fresh and available. Make sure your dog always has a shaded area, or leave him inside your house with the blinds closed. You can cool your dog down with wet towels, or a plastic shell filled with water so that he can cool off and swim. Be careful, though, because not all dogs are born with the ability to swim. And yes, some dogs will swim naturally, but some will be uncomfortable. Above all, don’t force your dog to go in the water to swim at all costs. It’s up to him to take the time he needs to make swimming a pleasure. You can also buy them a life jacket to make the experience enjoyable.
HEAT STROKE IN DOGS
You can also put a cooling mat for your dog. We recommend the Cooling Pet cooling pad. This one is portable even during your vacations and easy to use! We tested it recently and our dogs loved lying on it with the current high temperatures. Last but not least: food enrichment! There are different ways to refresh your dog with food. You can use a likimat or a kong filled with mash, kiri or compote that you will put in the freezer. This will make an ice-cream for your dog who will greatly appreciate being occupied with it. You can also make ice cubes of chicken broth that Titou can lick: refreshment and mental expenditure in one activity!
To conclude, it is very important to take care of our dogs because they are not used to such temperature peaks. You just have to take a few precautions to make this summer the best for them. Have a good end of summer!