As summer weather is still ongoing in many parts of the country and it’s still hot and muggy, it’s important to remember that much like us, our canine companions can overheat. Heat stress and heat stroke is something to take very seriously. If untreated, heat stress can cause some serious damage to your pet’s health and can even lead to death.
Here are some things to know — to keep your pup safe the remainder of your summer weather.
What causes heat stroke?
Heat stress is caused by external body factors such as a hot environment or over-exertion in the heat. Unlike humans, canines do not sweat so they have to use alternative mechanisms to cool themselves down. First, they use evaporation through heavy panting. Second they use conduction which occurs through heat transfer when a hot dog lies on a cool surface. Both mechanisms are not very effective and it can take quite some time for a dog to cool off, so it’s important to take action quickly if you see your dog showing signs of heat stress/stroke.
Heat stroke progresses in three stages. The initial phase is heat stress. The dog will pant heavily, drink water, and seek a cool surface to try and cool down. The second phase is called heat exhaustion. This phase presents as faster, heavier panting, an elevated heart rate, a higher body temperature, and the gums may become red and tacky. Finally if these symptoms go untreated, heat stroke develops. Heat stoke consists of a body temperature higher than 109 degrees and the dog will vomit, have diarrhea, begin to seizure, and collapse.
While all dogs can suffer from heat stroke, there are a certain breeds that can be more prone to developing problems. Brachycephalic dogs, such as Bulldogs, Boxers, and Boston Terriers are some of the most common dogs to overheat. These breeds are more susceptible because of their airway abnormalities like having small nostrils and narrow weak windpipes. Other dogs more prone to heat stress include elderly and overweight canines.
Avoiding heat stress and heat stroke
It may seem scary, but there are several steps you can take to help prevent heat stroke in your dog.
- Plan exercise for the cooler parts of the day such as in the early morning or late evening.
- If you are outside, especially for long periods of time, ensure your dog has access to shade and fresh, cool water at all times.
- Before taking your dog out, touch the sidewalk with the palm of your hand – if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
- Never leave your pet alone in the car.
The best tip to remember is always err on the side of caution when it comes to your companion.
For more information or to read the whole article, click here https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/health/avoiding-heat-stroke-in-dogs/
Posted by: BP, Smart Hemp CBD
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