Keep your dogs cool this Summer!
Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures.
Dogs are incredibly susceptible to heatstroke as they cannot remove the heat generated by their own body or the heat they receive from the environment. Certain breeds are more likely to suffer from heatstroke, also obese dogs, those with heart conditions and those who have suffered seizures in the past.
This is a serious concern and should be treated immediately to avoid organ damage to your dog or even death.
Things to look out for include:
- Excessive panting
- High body Temperature
- Dry gums
- Laboured breathing
If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke
- Get it into a shaded well-ventilated area (carry the dog if possible, as even walking at this
point may push the dog’s temperature to the point of no return.)
- If you can get the dog into an airconditioned room even better.
- Offer the dog water. If the dog doesn’t want water offer them ice cubes to lick
- Use a spray bottle to spray water (not ice cold and don’t put in a cold bath or shower as this
will have the opposite effect) over the dog, focusing on paws, underarm joint area and
- If you are outside put the dog under a sprinkler, or the hose.
- Take the dogs temperature.
- Get to a vet. If you have called the vet, they will give you information on how best to help
You want to bring your dogs' temperature down slowly to prevent your dog from going into shock.
The best way to avoid heatstroke is to avoid it.
- Do not walk your dog in the middle of the day
- Do not leave a dog in a car, even a few minutes can kill a dog.
- If your dog has to spend the day outside offer it plenty of fresh water and shaded areas.
With the recent temperatures its also a good time to remind everyone to do the hand test.
Hold the back of your hand to the ground for 10 seconds to test how hot it is. If you can’t get to ten, don’t walk the dog on the road or path. Maybe head to a park or beach.
Putting your dog on the back of a ute is not advisable, no matter how much they love it. Their feet could get seriously damaged. Maybe in these 40+ degree days, they could ride shotgun and enjoy the air-con with you.
This also a good time to remember the wildlife. If you can, put out some shallow dishes of water for the lizards and some more for the birds. It’s a fantastic activity to do with your kids and a great opportunity to learn about all the amazing wildlife in your backyard.
Remember if you even suspect one of your pets is suffering heat stroke, call your vet. Don’t wait until it’s too late.