The consequences of unsafe sun exposure and high temperatures can become a real nightmare for owners and their dogs.
How to prevent heatstroke in dogs? In order to prevent heatstroke in your dog, you need to know the dog’s physiognomy, its biological cooling system, and how external heat affects it. Good prevention will eliminate the ability to bring your dog to a heat stroke.
The most sensitive dogs are the older dogs and puppies
A dog is an animal that can tolerate low temperatures, but it does not apply to hairless breeds, then poorly fed, exhausted, and old dogs.
The dog is simply adapted to some medium temperature, but it works better at lower temperatures because of its structure and physiology, it is easier to warm it than to cool it.
Dogs do not have sweat glands, so they do heat through their tongues and paws.
The dog inhales air through the nose, humidifies it as it passes through the airways, and so moistened the air, warmer than the one introduced into the body, ejects along with the excess temperature.
The spread of peripheral blood vessels on the face, ears, and paws also regulates its temperature, but this also has its limits.
When it comes to normal temperatures, even up to 30 degrees, the pet somehow copes with it, but higher temperatures, combined with high humidity, are a big problem.
The reason is that the outside situation does not allow him to exchange heat with the environment, so the dog is in a state of insulation, causing overheating. That is why the owner must pay special attention to his pet at this time of year (summer).
What categories of dogs are most vulnerable:
– puppies up to 6 months old,
– large breeds older than seven years,
– small breeds more than 14 years old,
– overweight pets and those who are physically overloaded,
– sick individuals, those under therapy,
– dogs with short muzzles,
– dogs with damage to the cardiovascular system.
What time of the day to walk the dog
The owner’s first serious mistake is going out with a dog among friends and sitting at cafes in the hottest part of the day.
Even if the place of relaxation is in the thick shade, it somehow needs to be reached.
Because of all of the above, it would be wise to avoid walking and sun exposure between 10 am and 5 pm, not only because of the high temperature but also because of the high UV index from which neither the pet nor the owner is protected.
Do not leave the dog in the car
Never leave your dog in the car, not even in the shade!
Indoors, a dog cannot release excess heat for long, as there is not enough airflow to help extract moist air from the body.
It should not be reminded of the overheating of the car engine at high temperatures and the collapse of the air conditioner, may affect the dog’s temperature.
Additional problems arise on hot and soft asphalt, which can cause pet distress, especially on sensitive paw pads.
If you need to get out of the car immediately, do so literally for the shortest time possible, leave the windows completely open to allow air to flow, and provide the dog with sufficient water.
Take the dog for a splash in the water
If you just love to take walks in the sun, take your dog for a swim.
Plan how to get to the swim the fastest and let the dog into the water. Getting out of the water is a great opportunity for your pet to run out and dry, and as long as it’s wet it won’t overheat.
The water will carry with it excess degrees. The dog should not be allowed to get wet and tired in the thick shade as new problems may arise.
So, forget about walks during hot daylight hours, and even if you visit a vet, do so in the morning.
What are the consequences of negligent behavior towards the dog
A heat stroke occurs because of the inability of an organism to release excess temperature.
The normal temperature of the dog is up to 39 degrees Celsius, but if overheating occurs, it should be expected to rise to as much as 43 and 44 degrees.
The consequences are usually life-threatening, but there are symptoms that in a timely manner indicate the potential for serious consequences of overheating.
Signs informing the dog that a heat stroke will occur:
– loud breathing indicating decreased gas exchange due to difficulty in the passage of air through the upper airways,
– excessive rapid breathing,
– reddened mucous membranes (seen on the gums or mucous membranes of the eyes),
– frequent licking,
– frequently changing places and searching for shade where it will be able to expand to the maximum.
Subsequently, severe symptoms such as malaise, disinterest in the environment, disorientation, possibly vomiting, collapse (implies poor blood and heart conditions), to continue with a comatose state and extremely high fever, and eventually die.
What to do if a dog has a heat stroke
As soon as the first mild symptoms of pet overheating appear, the owner must respond immediately.
In order to prevent the possible development of heatstroke, it is important to acclimate the dog to the current conditions (summer heat, sea temperature …), and the adjustment period takes 7-9 days to three weeks.
The dog should be placed in the shade, put cold coverings on his head, cool the body with water or better prepare the bath.
In the meantime, a veterinarian should be called in to take appropriate professional measures if necessary.
During the summer heat, make sure that the dog has enough cold water and that the area where the dog is located is ventilated, with a moderate temperature.
Dog behavior also influences the development of heat stroke, the autonomic nervous system controls the spread and narrowing of blood nerves near the skin.
If the dog is agitated, irritated blood nerves in the skin are constricted, there is no release of body heat and fever in the brain.
Being overweight can also lead to heatstroke.
If the dog is standing after some exertion in a warm environment, it is a favorable sign of good fitness, and in this standing position, it will be easier to cool the body (airflow over a larger body surface than when lying down).
Prevention of heat stroke
In any case, it is the responsibility of the owner to take care of his pet and not allow any overheating problems to occur.
One need not be impatient or convinced of the dog’s resistance to withstand high temperatures.
The dangers of the summer sun and how they can become a nightmare unless the owner prevents them.
No matter what breed you have, you must pay attention to your dog in the summer to spot changed behavior and prevent heatstroke.
Remember that jumping a preheated dog into the sea can be detrimental to the dog due to cardiac arrest due to the temperature difference between air and sea.
Most owners put wet towels on their dog’s neck during the summer to allow him/her to cool down, and dogs are very happy to wear and handle it.
How to Feed a Dog When It’s a Hot Day
Adult dogs should be fed once a day and in the evening when the temperature drops, taking care that the food does not stay long in front of it.
If he does not want to eat, take away all that remains so that it does not spoil.
This has nothing to do with overheating the pet, but it has to do with the dog’s medical condition in the summer.
Freshwater should always be available to him as the dog loves to swim and will occasionally come to the water to cool his muzzle and paws.