It is the middle of summer and for dogs this can be a very difficult time, especially considering the heat wave much of America is experiencing. Extra care needs to be taken for dogs in hot weather so they are comfortable and do not become ill or worse. All dogs are going to need a shady place to lie when the sun is out in force and plenty of cool water to drink. Because dogs shed excess body heat by panting, exercising your dog during the heat of the day is not recommended. Take your daily walks early in the morning or late in the evening.
Special Care For Dogs In Hot Weather
Probably the biggest don’t is never leave your dog in a vehicle during hot weather. Leaving the window down, keeping a bowl of water for your dog in the vehicle, parking in a shady spot does not keep the dog cool, especially the “at risk” breeds. Even if it is only for a few minutes, take the dog with you or leave them at home. This is a deadly combination for any animal and your dog is no different.
Special care for dogs in hot weather are measures that especially must be taken for certain “at risk” breeds with what we call pudgy noses. These breeds include most breeds of Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese, and Boston Terriers to name a few. These breeds have what is referred to as “Brachycephalic” and these breeds with their flat face and head will feel the debilitating effects of heat much sooner than the more traditional dogs with longer snouts.
If you own one of these breeds special care must be taken in hot weather as these conditions can be deadly and can develop quickly. The dog can over-heat without any exercise. Simply letting the dog out in the sun for extended periods of time is enough to prove fatal. To identify if the Pekingese, Terrier, or other brachycephalic breeds have become over-heated look for the dog heaving while panting. This can be described as what a bad asthma attack would sound like. The dog will be lethargic, tongue will be very red, his body temperature will rise, and there will be foaming from the mouth due to a restricted airway and extreme panting.
To treat this condition put him in a cold bath immediately, and add ice to this bath water. Place bags of ice around the head and rectum, squirt lemon juice down the throat, and call your vet immediately. Keep him calm as possible.
As responsible dog owners it is up to us to take proper care of our dogs in hot weather.