The summer heat, especially in the South, can take a toll not only on human health, but also on the health of our four-legged best friends.
Here are a few tips for keeping your dog safe during hot weather:
- Shorten walking distances and avoid walks when ambient temperature is over 85 degrees
- Limit exercise for older dogs (over seven years) and any short-nosed dogs
- Monitor heartworm-positive dogs closely since they may be more prone to exercise intolerance or respiratory compromise due to lung inflammation
- Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight (especially light-skinned dogs, as they are more susceptible to sunburn)
- Don’t allow your dog to drink from puddles (reduces chances of infectious diseases and chemicals/toxins)
There are several indicators to watch for when outdoors with your dog(s) in the heat. Warning signs of canine heat stress to watch for include:
- Significant panting (panting more heavily than usual)
- Increased respiratory effort
- Hypersalivation (increased drooling)
- Dark red or purple gums
- Drunken gait
- Lethargy, decreased responsiveness
If you think a dog has become overheated, hose them down with tepid water and place them in front of a box fan or in air conditioning.
Let’s strive to keep all pets safe this summer!