Dogs and Heat: What You Should Keep in Mind

March 12, 2019
Even though some of us like hot weather, it can cause irreversible damage to animals. We wrote this article just to tell you what steps to take in regard to this. Do continue reading to learn about dogs and heat.

Dogs can not only suffer from dehydration and heat stroke but can also get sunburnt. Additionally, these lesions can cause them serious problems. Here you’ll learn what you can do if your dog gets affected by the heat.

Dogs and heat: protect your furry friend
Dog cooling down inside a tub.

Heat stroke happens when the animal reaches an extreme temperature of around 109 degrees Fahrenheit. This is usually from direct exposure or from direct contact with the sun for a long period of time. Then, severe dehydration would set in and the dog would, most likely, faint.

What to do if you think that your dog is having a heat stroke? It’s important to act quickly. Keep an eye on your dog whenever you take him out during hot weather, and be aware of his reactions.

If you notice heat stroke symptoms then take them to a cooler, shady place. If you’re close to home, then just pick them up and carry them back. Don’t force them to walk.

If you’re far away, look for shade and ask someone nearby, a restaurant perhaps, for some ice and water. Moreover, place some of the ice on their head and abdomen, and also pour cold water on their head.

The dog should drink water, but gradually, sip by sip. If they drink a lot of it at once, it could intoxicate them.

According to experienced veterinarians, when put in this situation you could also soak the dog in alcohol, given that it evaporates quickly and helps the body temperature return to normal. Needless to say, keep the dog away from any kind of open flames.

Dogs and heat: vehicles

The most common kinds of heat strokes happen inside vehicles. Some people take their dogs everywhere and there are many places where they can’t enter so they [innocently] leave them in the car. This is highly dangerous, irresponsible, and could kill the animal.

The heat is highly concentrated inside a vehicle, and it can reach temperatures of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. So, with this in mind, please don’t leave your dog in the car for more than a few seconds –even if you leave the windows open.

Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs

When dogs reach temperatures of between 107 and 109 degrees, they enter a critical phase that is difficult to recover from. Heat stroke makes it hard for the animal to breathe and you may notice it by their gasping, stumbling, or refusal to walk.

If you’re walking with your dog while it’s hot and you notice some of these symptoms, then find some shade immediately. Give them cool water and ice, if possible. After stabilizing them a bit, take them to the vet.

Puppies are the most likely to suffer from heat stroke. Mainly, because their immune system and small body are still growing. Consequently, this makes them more prone to illnesses and infections, and also to damage from high temperatures.

Dogs with flat snouts or those who are overweight, due to their breathing difficulties, are also more likely to suffer from heat stroke in high temperatures. So, you’ll have to take greater precautions with them.

A dog drinking water.Dogs dislike high temperatures

Dogs suffer from extreme temperatures a lot more than we do because our body is prepared to fight against anything that could harm us and theirs isn’t. For example, dogs, don’t have sweat glands with which to eliminate excess heat through sweat, and this makes hot weather unbearable to them.

The most advisable thing is to avoid walking your dog during extremely hot weather. It’s preferable to do so early in the morning, or late in the evening.