From the archive: Summer Heat Safety Tips
The weather is getting warmer and the humidity is climbing. Here are some things we should not forget about our dogs: They get hot. We must remember that if we are hot they are hotter. We can sweat. They can’t. We can wear fewer clothes. They wear fur. We can willfully move out of the sun. They have to be given access to shade. Think like a dog on hot days to keep your dog comfortable.
Check water bowls more frequently. Between evaporation from heat and animals being thirstier the depth of the bowl can seem a lot shallower in the hot weather months.
NEVER, EVER leave your dog locked in the car. Not for five minutes. Not for five seconds. If the temperature is 70 degrees or more your car will turn into an oven as soon as the windows are rolled up and your dog will start to bake. Cracking the windows is not enough to lower the temperature or relieve heat stress.
If you see someone else’s dog locked in a car on a hot day call 911. That is an emergency and the fire department will come to the rescue.
The street can scorch paws! If you can’t walk on it barefoot neither can your dog. Save walks for early morning or late evening hours.
Don’t take your dog running if it’s hot and humid. Yes, he probably loves exercise and you probably love the company but the risk of heat stroke is not worth it.
SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE
Your dog acts drunk: disoriented, looks confused, has trouble walking
Skin inside ears is red and hot to the touch
He refuses to drink
He passes out
WHAT TO DO
Hose him down with cool water. Do not use cold water, it will make his core temperature plummet and that can cause organ damage.
Once his temperature is below 104* rush him to the vet. He will need IV fluids and observation to be sure no internal damage has been done.