Out of all of the threats to your dog’s health, one of the most serious and unfortunately often fatal is heat stroke. In a matter of minutes when temperatures begin to really climb, a dog can go from perfectly fine to dead due to the sheer heat and their inability to cope with the harshness of the conditions without aid from their owner.
Typically encountered with dogs lacking in water, ventilation, and cover from the sun, heatstroke is a horrifying experience for any living thing to suffer through. In order to keep your dog happy and healthy, here’s just a handful of things you can do in order to help keep cool in hot weather.
Be aware of the signs of Dehydration
If your dog is in urgent need of water, there are a number of telling signs that indicate this. Their nose and mouth will be uncharacteristically dry and this is accompanied by panting at a far greater rate than usual. Physically it is also likely that they will be reluctant to move and if they do so, they will be very unstable due to how hot their body temperature is. Extreme cases can also be spotted by a look at their bodily fluids, with their urine likely to be very dark and vomit and diarrhea are also clear signs that trouble is afoot.
Do you need to go outside?
Whilst dogs need and love their walks, heading out in the middle of the day for example when the temperature is likely to be at its hottest is a bad idea. During those times its best that you keep your dog in an area with plenty of water and cool spots no matter how much they protest, and take them out before or after the peak of the day’s hotness.
But if you have to go…
If you and your dog have no choice but to go out together, then take care that there is somewhere suitable for them to rest whilst you attend to whatever you have to do. Plenty of bars or restaurants for example will have no problem filling up a bowl of water for them if you ask, and many others are more than happy to accommodate a dog’s needs if informed.
Don’t be so quick to cut their coat
It’s an easy mistake to make, as the logical thinking would normally be that having less hair helps release heat quickly and also won’t weigh your dog down as much as their fur or hair normally would. However, having their coat shortened actually reduces their ability to self-ventilate as the channels between their hairs actually creates corridors through which air can circulate and aid in the cooling process.
Use sun screen for dogs
Not just for humans, sun screen lotions also works for dogs too. Dogs require protection from the sun’s UV rays similar to humans. Although some form of specialist cream will be a needed investment and it can sometimes be a pain to apply, such a defense forms a vital barrier against not just heatstroke but also sunburn, skin cancer and all the other health conditions associated with an overdose of sun.
This article was submitted by Justin Fox.
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