Dog might be man (and woman’s) best friend, but the excessive heat is nobody’s friend. With heat indexes into the triple digits, it is important to make sure your four-legged friends with built-in fur coats stay safe from heat stress and heatstroke this summer. We offer a few suggestions to be proactive in keeping your dogs cool during the summer.
- Avoid leaving your dog unsupervised outside on hot days. If you are away during the day, keep your dog indoors, either in front of a fan or in the air conditioning.
- Be sure your dog (and all outside pets) has access to clean, fresh water, shade and shelter away from direct sunlight.
- Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening when the pavement or asphalt is not dangerously hot and won’t burn your dog’s pads.
- Never, leave your dog alone in a parked car. Even on cloudy days that might not seem hot to humans, the enclosed car can heat up quickly, and that heat builds up to deadly levels fast.
- On super-hot days, keep dogs inside as much as you can, except for quick bathroom breaks – especially those that are older or obese, have longer hair or any health issues. Yes, dogs might want to run and play, but now is the time they need their humans to help them make wise decisions.
How to Beat Heat Stress
If for some reason your pet does get over heated, there are a few things you can do to help cool it off. If your dog’s rectal temperature is above 102.5, it is a definite sign it is overheated. It is important to cool your dog of gradually, as to not cause dangerous blood pressure changes.
If your dog is panting heavily or vomiting, take it inside and offer it cool – not cold water. You do not want to shock your dog. Cover your dog in towels soaked in warm water. Rubbing alcohol on its paw pads should also help lower its temperature.
Remember to avoid cold water and coo your dog off gradually. Its body temperature should decrease, and return to normal about 10 minutes; but if it doesn’t you might want to contact your local veterinarian.
Although we cannot rule out heat stress, or any other type of stress for our fur-babies, we can do our best to minimize the effects of stress this summer. When anxiety gets the worst of them, don’t forget about Vitalize® Dog products that can help your animal cope with common stressors.
The prebiotic Amaferm® in Vitalize products is proven to increase stool consistency, appetite, digestibility and overall skin and coat health. Supplement your dog every day with Vitalize Dog or give Vitalize Dog Gel as needed for stressful situations. Don’t forget to give them a good gut feeling this summer!