The summer months can be great for having a good time with our dogs if we go to sea together and the furry creature has fun diving in the waves or if we walk together in the evening on a promenade.
However, the heat is not so great – neither for humans nor for dogs. We sweat, and they can’t even do that, and they just lie with their tongues out. Don’t be surprised if your dog doesn’t have the usual looking for play during the summer heat: it’s as if you want to run a marathon while it’s 37 degrees outside. That’s why they rely on us to make sure she feels good and doesn’t get hurt in the heat.
Here are some tips on how to take care of your best friend when the thermometer hits 30 and up:
On a hot day, the temperatures in the car can rise very quickly to dangerous values. If it’s 29 degrees Celsius outside, in the car it can reach 38 in 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature can rise to 48 degrees. As a result, your dog may suffer irreversible organ damage and lose his life.
Observe the humidity
Veterinarians remind you that it is important to monitor not only the temperature but also the humidity, which can also affect the dog.
Dogs breathe heavily, with their tongues out to evaporate moisture from their lungs. Thus the heat goes out of their body. If the humidity in the environment is too high, they will not be able to cool down and their temperature can quickly jump to dangerous levels.
The normal temperature of dogs varies between 38.3 and 39.2 degrees. If you notice a higher temperature, your dog may get a heat stroke.
Limit walks on hot days
Be careful when you go for a walk with the dog and play together. Walk mostly early in the morning and late in the evening and be especially vigilant if your dog has white ears, as these dogs are more susceptible to skin cancer.
Modern breeds (so-called brachefacial breeds) such as pugs and French bulldogs, and less modern Pekingese and Japanese hinns with flattened muzzles, often have breathing problems and also need to be more careful with the heat. Asphalt can burn your dog’s paws, so walk on the grass (as it is protected from ticks and fleas, of course).
Always carry water to prevent dehydration of the animal.
Do not rely on the fan
Animals react to heat differently from humans. As for the fans, it may be refreshing for us to hang in front of a running fan with our eyes closed and let it blow in our face, but that doesn’t do any good for your dog. It cannot be cooled by the blowing hot air.
Provide enough shade and water
When you go out, make sure that the animals in the house are in the shade and have enough fresh water. If the heat is really severe, you can put some ice in the water. If you are caring for a cat, put a few bowls of water in different places to have access to drink from anywhere.
Pull back the curtains, blinds, darken the rooms, especially those in which direct sunlight enters and those in which the animals stand.
Cool the dog inside and out
You can rub the dog with a damp cloth, spray his forehead with water or dress him in a damp garment. If your pet is not overly stressed from the bathroom, you can put him in the shower. This will cool down quickly and efficiently.
Be alert for symptoms of heat stroke
Extremely high temperatures can lead to heat stroke in animals (and humans).
Observe the dog for heavy or difficult breathing, glassy eyes, rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, staggering, profuse salivation, vomiting or loss of consciousness.
Particularly at risk are older dogs, puppies, those who are overweight or other chronic heart or respiratory diseases. Some breeds – boxers, pugs, shih tzu and others with flattened muzzles – are more difficult in the heat.
What to do if the dog gets heat stroke
If you notice any of the above symptoms, take the dog to an air-conditioned room. Put cold towels on his head, on his chest and wet him. Let him drink small amounts of lukewarm water or lick an ice cube. And, of course, call his veterinarian.