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Watch Your Dogs for Heatstroke

It can't be said enough -- dogs are extremely susceptible to heatstroke! Here's a helpful article from the St. Paul-Minneapolis Star Tribune about heatstroke and...

Joy  |  Aug 1st 2006


Keep Your Dogs Cool

It can’t be said enough — dogs are extremely susceptible to heatstroke! Here’s a helpful article from the St. Paul-Minneapolis Star Tribune about heatstroke and what to watch out for in dogs when the temperatures are as high in the Northern hemisphere as they have been recently.

Uncounted dogs die of heatstroke every year. In fact, they are more susceptible to overheating than people, according to the Humane Society of the United States. They were engineered to conserve heat, ideal in winter. But with sweat glands only on their noses and pads, they can’t cool off efficiently.

Uncounted dogs die of heatstroke every year. In fact, they are more susceptible to overheating than people, according to the Humane Society of the United States. They were engineered to conserve heat, ideal in winter. But with sweat glands only on their noses and pads, they can’t cool off efficiently.
An overheated dog can suffer brain and organ damage in 15 minutes, pet experts say. Short-nosed breeds such as pugs and bulldogs are even more vulnerable. Older, infirm, stressed, and chubby dogs and puppies are especially vulnerable to heat-related stress.

Temperatures that are not uncomfortable for you still can be life-threatening to a pooch. Signs of heat stress are glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, labored breathing, panting, pale gums and unresponsiveness.

Tips for keeping your dog cool:

Hydrate, then hydrate some more. Dogs cool off by panting and drinking water. Keep their water cool with ice. Toss out cubes for them to chew.

Be sure to carry water and a bowl wherever you go with your dog.

When your dog gets hot, drape your pet in a towel moistened with cool water, fill a kiddie pool or hose it off.

Don’t shave double-coated dogs (dogs with an undercoat such as German shepherds, collies, huskies, Samoyeds). Their fur might look hot, but it provides protection from the heat and prevents sunburn.

Keep your dog off asphalt and other hot surfaces. Walk on grass or dirt.

Call the prevailing authority if you see an animal trapped inside a car.

MCCLATCHY NEWS SERVICE

2006 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.