Dog Heatstroke in Groveport, OH: What it is, Signs and How to Protect Your Pet
Heatstroke in dogs can be deadly if it is not treated right away. Many dog owners are not even aware that their dog can get heatstroke, and they might miss the early warning signs of this condition. Being sure that you know what dog heatstroke looks like is key to ensuring that your pet gets treatment right away if they are overheated.
We will discuss the signs and how to protect your pet from this potentially deadly condition. During the summer months, it can be key to know about heatstroke in dogs so that your pet is not exposed to unnecessary risk. Being an educated pet owner can be the difference between having fun with your pet during the summer and exposing them to severe health risks.
What is Heatstroke in Dogs?
Heatstroke is also called hyperthermia. This condition happens when your dog’s body temperature exceeds 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Any dog with a body temperature over 106 degrees Fahrenheit will need immediate treatment to prevent long-term health issues or worse, death.
Thankfully for pet owners, there are some recognizable signs that indicate that your pet is struggling to cool off enough to remain healthy. There are also some precautions that you can take to help prevent your dog from overheating. Even dogs who live indoors can be at risk of getting heatstroke if they are closed into a small room or do not have access to enough water. The more that you know about this condition, the better.
Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs
There are some key signs that you need to look for if you think that your dog might have heatstroke. These symptoms will not all appear at once in most cases, but dogs often decline quite rapidly when they have heatstroke. Dogs with heatstroke need treatment within the first half an hour of the onset of symptoms to survive in most cases. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, you need to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. Waiting too long to decide if your dog is sick can be a critical error when it comes to heatstroke.
The common signs of heatstroke are:
- Elevated breathing rate
- Dry and sticky gums
- Abnormal gum color
- Bruising of the gums
- Lethargy and disorientation
Dogs will usually show panting within the first ten minutes of being affected by heatstroke. However, some pets will progress from these symptoms to more severe signs of the condition right away. You should never hesitate to take your pet to see the emergency veterinarian if they are panting heavily and their gums don’t get color back right away when you press a finger into them.
How to Protect Your Pet from Heatstroke
Protecting your dog from heatstroke is easier than most think. Here are some tips:
Be Aware of the Temperature Outside
One of the best ways that you can prevent heatstroke is to make sure that you are aware of the temperature outside before you take your dog for a walk or on an adventure like a hike. Your pet should not be outside for an extended period and should not exert when it is more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside. If the humidity is high, they should stay indoors when it is 75 degrees or warmer.
Check the Pavement Temperature
You can check the temperature without a thermometer by placing your hand on the sidewalk in the sun. If you cannot stand having your hand on the pavement, it is too hot for your dog to be outside. Dogs that live outdoors should be brought indoors, if possible, when it is hot or be given shade and lots of water to drink to be sure they can stay cool.
Always Provide Your Dog with Water
Your pet should always have access to fresh and clean water, no matter whether they live indoors or outside. This is one of the only ways that your dog can cool off, so you cannot limit your dog’s access to water at any time. Also, be sure that you do not close your pet into small spaces that don’t have good air circulation, as this can also lead to heatstroke. Pets that are placed in kennels cannot be in the kennel in a warm area or in the direct sun. The same goes for car trips, and you should never leave your pet in the car without the air conditioning on when the weather is hot.
Prevention is the Best Plan When It Comes to Heatstroke
Preventing heatstroke is essential. Dogs that have had heatstroke in the past are more susceptible to getting it again in the future. Besides this, heatstroke can be deadly, and you do not want to expose your dog to the risk of passing away just because they were outside too long in the heat. Make sure that you always bring water with you and a bowl for your dog to drink from and that you never close them up in a hot space without any air circulation.
Dogs are not as good at cooling off their bodies as humans, and pet owners need to be aware of this limitation and respect it. It can be tempting to take your pet with you on a hike, a walk, or a car trip when it is very hot out, but you will be exposing your dog to unnecessary risk if you do so.