With summer comes fun pool days, beach days, and barbecues. However, with these summer activities also comes very hot weather. Especially with the soaring temperatures we’ve seen out west in the United States, it’s even more important to know how to take care of your dog and prevent heatstroke.
Hyperthermia is when the body temperature goes above the normal range. Heatstroke is bad hyperthermia where the body’s ways of cooling itself off no longer work because the body is too hot. A dog’s normal temperature is around 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When that temperature reaches 105 degrees Fahrenheit, your dog is going into heatstroke.1
Dogs aren’t like us – they have different ways of cooling themselves down. These are panting and vasodilation. Panting causes evaporative cooling on their tongues, lungs, and nasal passages. Vasodilation is when the blood vessels expand and bring hotter blood to the surface of the skin so it’s easier to cool off.2
The most common cause of heatstroke in dogs is being left in a car.2 Even with the windows cracked, and even if just for a few minutes, the temperature of a car can skyrocket. This can prove to be a fatal mistake for your dog.3
Always keep your dog in mind when you’re outside during the summer. If you feel hot, your dog does too.1 So make sure they have access to water and shade while outdoors so they can regulate their temperature and stay away from getting overheated.3
If you think your dog is experiencing heatstroke, be sure to call your vet. You can help them cool off using cool or lukewarm water in the meantime to help bring their temperature down, but you don’t want to cool them further than 103 degrees Fahrenheit.3
How do you keep your dog safe during the summer? Share with us on social media and let’s all learn from each other!
All the best,
Chris & the WERC Team