Tags: dogs | heatstroke | summer

Hot Weather Can Be Deadly for Dogs

Thursday, 13 August 2015 12:37 PM

The dog days of summer are here and, for pets, that means the risk of heatstroke rises, just as it does for their owners.

In fact, dog owners need to be particularly attentive to potential signs of heatstroke when running or hiking with their pets because their rise in body temperature can be sudden and dangerously severe, The New York Times reports.

No statistics are available on the number of dogs that are injured or die from heatstroke, but vets say paying careful attention to your dog’s behavior while exercising outdoors is essential.

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Unlike humans, who sweat and cool down as sweat evaporates, dogs shed body heat primarily through their mouths. But the signs of heatstroke in a pet — such as deep red gums — are easy to miss.

Pugs, Pekingese, and other breeds with flattened noses and shorter respiratory tracts are particularly susceptible to heatstroke, as are older and overweight dogs

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To avoid canine heatstroke, experts recommend:

• Walk, hike, or run with your dog early in the morning or after sunset when temperatures are cooler.
• Avoid exercising your dog on very hot and humid days.
• Seek out shady trails or sidewalks whenever possible.
• Always carry water and a bowl to keep your pet sufficiently hydrated.
• If your dog tries to slow down or stop entirely, let it rest.
• If your dog shows any signs of overheating — excessive panting, lethargy, a deep red tongue — get it into cool water.
• If signs of distress persist, go to a veterinarian immediately; organ failure can be rapid, irreversible, and fatal.

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The dog days of summer are here and, for pets, that hikes heatstroke risks.
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Thursday, 13 August 2015 12:37 PM
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