Detecting Heat Illness In Dogs

With recent heat waves and more hot weather around the corner, now is the time to plan your sunny adventures with your beloved companion, your dog. However, while you curate the perfect summer itinerary, it’s important to take note of the signs of heat illness in dogs, as the increased outdoor temperatures can quickly become dangerous if the proper measures are not taken to keep your pet’s body temperature within reasonable levels.

The Common Signs of Heat Illness

The common signs of heat illness in dogs include the following:

·       Excessive panting

·       Excessive drooling

·       Being hot to the touch

·       Increased heart rate

·       Dry gums or redness in the mouth

·       Vomiting and diarrhea

·       Lethargy or collapse

·       Muscle tremors

·       Staggered movement

·       Seizures

The Causes of Heat Illness

Heat illness, also referred to as heat stroke or heat exhaustion is a type of hyperthermia that derives from the dog’s inability to accommodate high temperatures of heat, resulting in a body temperature of over 105F. Although heat illness can affect any breed, there are several contributing factors that put certain dogs at higher risk, including the following:

·       Dogs with long hair

·       Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds 

·       Dogs who have been confined to an area with poor ventilation

·       Dogs who have partaken intense exercise

·       Dehydrated dogs

·       Overweight dogs

Preventing Heat Illness

Preventing heat illness is fairly simple as it only requires you pay close attention to your pet and limit their time spent in very hot or humid conditions. As a general guiding rule, if the weather is too hot for you to be outside, the same applies to your dog. Furthermore, if you live in a very hot area, be sure that your indoor air is at a comfortable level by providing adequate air conditioning, air circulation, and shade, and remember to always supply your dog with plenty of fresh water.

Make the most of the beautiful weather this summer by contacting your local veterinarian today to schedule your dog’s health check-up and to learn more about how to keep your dog safe and happy this upcoming season.

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