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Summer is coming - Looking After a Dog This Season

large_Looking-after-a-dog-in-the-summer-heat

Most of us just cannot wait for summer to arrive. Of course, it's because we love going out to enjoy the warmth, and it's only natural we do so with our pets. Heat, however, comes with its own hazards. And while we all love the warmth outside, we always wear something suitable, but what about our dogs? How do they cope?

Since dogs do not have the convenient sweat mechanism that helps humans stay cool, they can suddenly experience overheating, which could be deadly.

Fortunately, there are quite a number of signs that shows your dog is overheating. It is necessary that you watch out for these signs in the summer months especially when you're taking your canine friend out of the AC or from a relatively colder environment to a warm place.

In this article, you'll learn how your dog's system copes with the summer heat, how to spot when they are overheating and what to do when that happens. 

How to Know If Your Dog Is?

 Overheating in dogs develop rapidly when they are exposed to high temperatures or a poorly ventilated room. Here are some of the signs of an overheating dog:

  • Heavy panting
  • A worried expression or uncharacteristic staring.
  • No response to commands
  • Warm or dry skin / pale gums
  • High body temperature
  • Dehydration or an increase in drooling
  • Sudden collapse
  • Deep and fast breathing.

It is important to note that puppies and older dogs are generally more sensitive in summer.

What to Do When Your Dog Is Overheating

Check if the dog is responsive. If he is, take him to a cool place, preferably a place with air conditioning, or at the very least, move the dog to a shade. If the dog is standing or at least conscious, offer him a small amount of water to drink and if you can, check his temperature.

If the dog is still at a temperature lower than 40ºC then allow the dog to remain there, and keep offering him a small amount of cool water. Offering a large amount at once may make the dog vomit and this increases the risk of dehydration. Once your dog is stable, call the vet.

If the dog is not responsive, then you need to take him to the vet at once. Remember to call the vet, pre-informing him/her of your imminent arrival you're coming so they can prepare for your arrival.

The dog will be better off if you cool him with cool water, (not cold water). Use wet towels or hose or whatever is available. Focus on his head and the region underneath the head. To speed up the cooling process, you may place him before a cooling fan.

How to prevent overheating in dogs

Never for any reason leave your dog in the car.  

Don't do it, even if you intend spending a few minutes in the shop. While you think it's not too hot outside, the temperature can soar in a closed car, in fact, on a day of about 29 degrees, the temperature in your car can skyrocket to 39 degrees in roughly 10 minutes, and that's even with a cracked window. If after 30 minutes the door is still locked, the temperature can reach 49 degrees. So if dogs aren't allowed, leave yours at home.

Keep your house cool.  

If you're leaving your dog at home, ensure he is really comfortable. Start by leaving the air conditioner on, then close the curtains. If you do not have air conditioning or don't want to raise your electric bill, then you can simply open the windows and keep the fan running. Check out if a cooling mat or vest can help.

Watch your exercise.

Since it's the summer, you may have to limit what you do and how much you exercise on a hot and humid day. If you have to walk your dog, then do so during the cooler part of the day. You may do this in the morning or in the evening. And remember to go with a lot of water as you stroll.

Check the floor.

Touch the pavement before going for a walk or leaving your dog with a dog walker. If it's hot for your hand, then it'll be hot for the dog

Provide your dog with plenty of water as well as shade.  

Do not leave your dog outside all by itself for too long. And if the dog is outside, ensure that you make provision for shade and lots of cool water. Consider adding ice cubes to his drinking water, a kiddie pool or even a sprinkler will help your dog cool off in the summer.

Get your dog some cool, nice treats.

It will help your dog cool off from the inside out if you give him a treat. It's not hard to do. Simply make ice cubes with tasty treats, freeze chew toys, or offer him puppy ice pops and your dog will woof a "thank you".

Remember to groom your pet  

If you have a dog that has long fur, then you may have to get rid of all mats and tangles. Doing so will keep your dog cool instead of overheating. It's not necessary to clip or shave his coat unless your vet or groomer recommends it, because that extra fur which keeps the canine warm in the winter can also keep him cool in the summer.

Visit the Vet in the summer

Remember to visit your vet to keep your dog's vaccination up to date. The parvovirus spreads like wildfire in the summer, and your dog (by spending time outside) may come in contact with an infected dog or material. Fleas also contribute to the spread of many diseases and summer is flea-season, so visiting a vet is very important.

Summer is fun, I personally look forward to the warmth. We hope that this article has given you the necessary information to look after your buddy while enjoying the summer season.

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