For humans, heat is dangerous but for animals, heat is more dangerous. The way their body cools is not as effective as the way humans cool. Dogs can only sweat through their mouth and in between their toes. The only way they can cool themselves is by sitting in the shade or digging a hole and lying in it. Even short haired dogs suffer from heat exhaustion.
So what risks are there for dogs when you walk them in hot weather? Walking a dog in heat 90 degrees or above could cause them to burn their paws. Most people assume their paws are as tough as the soles of shoes, which is partially true. But dog paws contain hundreds of veins that go straight to their heart. Due to their poor cooling process, this sends heat directly to their heart and could cause them to suffer from a heat stroke.
A dog’s normal temperature is 102 degrees Fahrenheit. When a dog is suffering from a heat stroke, their temperature can easily rise to 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit. This can happen in as little as twenty minutes. A heat stroke for a dog can cause damage to their brain, liver, lungs, and blood clotting.
The signs to a heat stroke include:
- Excessive panting/drooling
- Bright red gums
- Loss of Balance
- Sudden Death
If you believe your dog is suffering from a heat stroke, take them to a nearby shady area. Apply ice packs to their head, neck, or chest. You could also run water over your dog’s body. But do not run icy cold water over your dog’s body. After your dog has cooled down, take them to a veterinarian immediately.
In order to prevent your dog from overheating, do not walk them in weather over 90 degrees, keep them in shady areas or allow them to go indoors. Do not leave your dog in a parked car, even if the windows are rolled down or the AC on inside the vehicle. The inside of the car can still reach high temperatures, which could injure your dog. Always keep your dog’s water cool and fresh. It is important to protect your beloved pet from hot summer days if you want them to live a long and healthy life.