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White fluffy poodle dog heatstroke

Can Dogs Get Heat Stroke?

You’d better believe it! Heatstroke in dogs is far too common in the summer months, and it’s our job as pet parents to be fully attentive to our furry friends’ physical limits.

According to Dogs Naturally, your dog’s normal temperature is between 100 degrees and 103 degrees F. A dog will start to experience heat stroke at 105 degrees F. Any higher and organ damage is at risk.

These are common signs of heat stroke:

  • Panting heavily
  • Dry or bright red gums
  • Thicker drool than normal
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of balance
  • Collapse

If you notice these symptoms…

  1. Move your dog to a cool place.
  2. Wipe her down with a damp rag or drape a cool, damp towel over her body.
  3. Pay attention to her inner thighs and stomach where there are more large blood vessels, and on the pads of her feet.
  4. Try to get her to drink some cool (not cold) water, but slowly. If she gulps down too much too fast, she may vomit, which won’t help the situation.
  5. Once she’s cool, take her to see your veterinarian for an exam to ensure that there’s no internal damage.

It’s easy to assume that just because you’re comfortable, your dog is too. Most of our dogs can’t handle the heat as well as humans, so just keep an eye out during extreme weather to ensure your dog isn’t overdoing it.

Some dogs are at higher risk than others.

If your dog is older, overweight, short nosed, thick-coated, low-energy, out of shape, doesn’t drink enough water, and/or has underlying diseases, he or she is at a higher risk for heatstroke. In addition, the following breeds tend to be at greater risk:

  1. English Bulldog
  2. Pug 
  3. French Bulldog
  4. Boston Terrier 
  5. Shih Tzu
  6. Pekingese
  7. Boxer
  8. Chow Chow
  9. Overweight Golden Retrievers
  10. Overweight Labrador Retrievers 

Tips to keep your dog cool

  • Keep your animal indoors if possible.
  • Your pet should never be left in your car for any length of time.
  • Walk early in the morning or later in the day when it’s cooler.
  • Make sure there’s a shady area if she’s outside playing in the yard.
  • Remember that her paws aren’t protected from the hot asphalt, so choose grassy surfaces if you can. If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s definitely too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Keep your house cool. Leave windows open, ceiling fans going or the A/C on.
  • Walk with water and let your dog drink as you go. Let her take frequent breaks to cool down, and make sure she has access to cool water when she’s in the yard.
  • Provide your dogs with access to water at all times.

 

 

 

Tips to Protect Your Dog’s Paws From Hot Pavement

Summer is a great time to get out and about with your dog, but outdoor excursions in the heat have quite a few risks for pets and humans alike. There is a lot of buzz about educating pet owners about the dangers of leaving your pet in a hot car, but many guardians forget one important detail: hot pavement will burn a dog’s paws.

It can be tempting to bring your best friend with you everywhere you go, but it can cause serious harm to your dog if you’re not careful. It only takes a few moments on blazing hot asphalt for your dog’s paws to be injured, blistered, or cracked.

The 10 Second Rule:

Put the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it there for 10 seconds it is too hot to walk. If the asphalt is so hot you could probably fry an egg on it, then it can burn your dog’s feet. Also keep in consideration that certain dog’s pads, especially puppies are not as adaptable to heat and may not be able to stand even temperatures you can.

Be mindful of hot surfaces – asphalt and metal (boat docks, car or truck surfaces) – and walk your dog in the shade or in the grass, early morning or later evening is best. Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. It’s a good way to keep your pet’s feet cool while loading up the car.

Burned Pad First Aid

It’s important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem, flush with cool water or a cool compress if available.

Get your dog to a grassy area, or carry him if possible. At first chance, have your vet examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters, and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed.

Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important in avoiding infection. Licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew or ingest the sock.

If you are walking your dog this summer, it can be helpful to condition his paw pads using Paw Balm. The Barkery best seller is 4-Legger Organic Healing Balm, which quickly sooths rough, irritated, or chapped paw pads. Although this paw pad conditioner helps to keep your dog’s feet moisturized, it is not made to withstand over 100 degree temperatures.

Bottom line – if the pavement is so hot you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot, your dog doesn’t want to either!