Summer Health Tips
- NEVER leave your dog unattended in the car -- even with windows open the temperatures can rise dramatically. Here's a flyer (PDF), from the
SPCA of British Columbia, that lists the dangers of heatstroke, along with emergency treatment.
- Best time for exercise is when it's cool--early morning or evening
- Don't let your dogs stand on hot asphalt--their pads can easily burn
- Signs for overheating include weakness, excessive panting and drooling
- Make sure your dogs have plenty of shade and cool, clean water
- Avoid areas where you suspect insecticide has recently been applied
ASPCA Hot Weather Tips
Heat Stroke in Dogs
Could your dog have heat stroke? Black dogs, dogs with a short muzzle, overweight dogs, and old/young dogs are particularly at risk.
- increased panting and salivating
- excessive drooling
- rapid heart rate
- vomiting blood
- weakness, staggering or inability to move
- put your dog in bathtub/shower and run cool (not cold) water over her head
- if you can't get your dog in a tub, cool him off with a garden hose or pool
- put a cold pack on his head (frozen fruit or vegetables are fine)
- briskly massage her legs
- give her access to as much cool water as she wants; adding a pinch of salt will help replace lost minerals
As soon as your dog's temperature drops below 103, take her to your vet immediately
PetMD info on heat stroke in dogs
Bellevue Animal Hospital, “How Hot is Too Hot?”
Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car in the Heat
With summer upon us, it's time for travel and a reminder about the dangers of leaving your dog in a parked car. With our extremely hot summers, parking in the shade--even if you're just
gone a minute or leaving the windows cracked--is NOT ok. The temperature inside a car can skyrocket within a few minutes.
To convince yourself, get into your car on a warm, sunny day, turn off the engine, and crack the windows. It only takes a few minutes before it becomes unbearable. On an 85-degree day,
for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can reach 102 degrees within only ten minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees becoming lethal for
Stanford University School of Medicine's study measuring the temperature inside a parked car on
sunny days showed that a car's interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees in an hour, with eighty percent of the temperature rise occurring within the first half-hour.
So cracking a window or running the air conditioner before parking the car were inadequate.
Dogs are designed to conserve heat. Panting and drinking water helps cool them, but if they only have hot air to breathe, dogs can suffer brain and organ damage in just 15 minutes.
Signs of heat stress include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue. If your dog becomes overheated, immediately lower
their body temperature by doing one or more of the following before taking him or her to the closest vet:
- Move him into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over their body to gradually lower their temperature.
- Apply ice packs or cool towels to her head, neck and chest only.
- Allow your dog to drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.