It is summer! As much fun as it is splashing in pools and enjoying the summer sun, it is important that we realize that the desert summer heat can be harmful to our dogs. On a hot day, one minute your dog can be happily running after a ball, and a few minutes later, can be in danger of going into shock from heat stroke. Be aware.
Here are some signs that your dog is in distress from heat stroke:
- Fast panting
- Bright red tongue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Thick saliva
- Foaming at the mouth
- High temperature (over 102.5)
- Dark red gums that may turn blue or grey
If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, immediately put their paws into cool (not cold) water and gently spray or hose them with cool water. If you are using a hose, be sure the water coming out is cool because a hose that is sitting in the sun all day may have hot water coming out and may need to run for a while. Put a cool, wet towel around your dog and go to the vet. Stroke your dog’s ears from the head to the ear tip, as that may help keep them from going into shock. And don’t panic, as your dog will pick up on your stress and that will add to the problem. Fast action could save your dog’s life. And remember that older dogs are especially vulnerable to the heat.
Wishing you and your dog a safe and happy summer!
Article by Mara Brown – Master Dog Behaviorist. To learn more or improve your relationship with your dog call Mara Brown