Summertime Tips - How to Know if Your Pet is Overheated
It's officially summertime, especially if you're in the southeast U.S. like we are!
With an increase in temperatures comes an increase in the potential for heatstroke in animals. The American Kennel Club states, "As a dog’s temperature rises, blood rushes to the surfaces of the tongue, gums, and membranes to help transfer excess heat.
Frantic panting, extreme salivation, bright-red membranes, and labored breathing are clear warning signs that your dog is overheated and may quickly progress to a metabolic meltdown as his temperature rises to over 106 F and he can no longer cool himself.
Our furry friends rely upon us to be as responsible a pet parent as we possibly can be. The following provides key tips to help prevent your dog from becoming overheated along with a list of things to do if he or she does become overheated.
They may gasp for air, and the entire mouth will become grayish to purple because of the unmet oxygen demand.
As they dehydrates, the saliva thickens, and they may vomit and have diarrhea. Unable to stand, they may have a seizure, become comatose, [or even] die.
Even if you can cool them and they act normal, rush them to an emergency clinic because their organs may have already been damaged and death could follow."
How to Keep Your Pet from Overheating
- When outside, make sure that your pet has access to shade and fresh, cool water.
- Don't leave your pet outside for long periods of time.
- Never leave your dog in the car. According to the AKC, "Even on a cool day (mid-60s) the temperature in a closed car rises to 130 F in minutes."
- Avoid participating in high-stress activities outdoors, especially at times when the temperature is at its peak.
- Stay especially mindful of older pets or pets with health concerns.
- If your pet is at home alone while you are at work, running errands, visiting friends, etc., consider installing a temperature alarm for the inside of your home or RV. This way, you'll know if the temperature in your home rises while you are away.
- If you are planning on enjoying an outdoor activity with your pet, make sure you pack extra water and towels for cooling.
What to do if Your Pet Becomes Overheated
- Immediately move them to a shaded or cooled area.
- Spray them with cool water.
- Provide fresh water for drinking.
- Wipe their face with a cool, wet cloth.
- Fan them, either manually or turn on an electric fan if available.
- Don't hesitate to take them to the closest vet. Even as their bodies start to regulate, they could have damage to their organs if the overheating was severe.
Always be a good pet parent!
Be keenly aware of the signs your dog is in danger of becoming overheated throughout the warmer Summer months, and if they do, be sure to follow the above tips to help cool them down!