Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dog Safety Tips for Summer - What To Do If Your Dog Overheats

Down here in the South, it gets hot. Today, it's 90 degrees outside but that's actually relatively cool for this time of year during a Texas Summer. If you're going to be out and about with your dog this summer, you need to make sure that both of you stay hydrated and cool as much as possible.

Here are a few things you can do to stay cool:

  • Always have plenty of fresh drinking water available for your dog. 
  • Never leave your dog alone in a hot car. 
  • Come inside and cool down in the air conditioner or with a fan. 
  • If air conditioning isn't an option, find some shade. 
  • Avoid hot pavement outside, it can burn your dog's paws. 
  • Take a swim to cool down!

I'm sure you've heard it all before. But these simple dog safety tips for Summer  really can be a life saver. So what do you do if you think your dog is already overheating? During a time like this, veterinary care is extremely important. If you can't reach a veterinarian in a timely manner, here are some things you can do first. 
  1. Take your dog's temperature rectally (in the butt). All you need is a digital thermometer and a little bit of lube. Anything more than 103.5 may be cause for concern. Normal temperature for a dog ranges anywhere from 99.5 - 102.5 degrees. 
  2. If your dog's temperature is high, try cooling them down inside with air conditioning and a cool fan. 
  3. Wet their paws and ear flaps with rubbing alcohol. 
  4. Surround them with ice packs placed under a towel or blanket. 
  5. Get your dog wet. Put them in the tub with cool water. Never use ice cold water to cool your dog down with in an emergency. 
  6. Monitor their temperature to make sure it's going down. 
  7. If your dog becomes unconscious, seek veterinary treatment immediately and perform CPR
These are all things that a veterinarian might try to cool your dog down too. On top of these steps, they may also give them a bolus of intravenous fluids which can really help lower their temperature. They will also be prepared to perform emergency CPR if necessary. 

Remember to be safe this Summer when you're out with your furry friends! No one wants a fun time to end in tragedy. 

This post is sponsored. I am participating in the Dog Fence DIY Safety Roundup. You too can enter and win $200 for best in class.

20 comments:

  1. Great tips, Ann! It's really important for our furry friends to stay cool in the summer.

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  2. Great Tips. Every pet parent must know these important tips. LOVE the color of your polish. Golden Woofs

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  3. Great tips fur sure and we hope nobody ever needs them!

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  4. Great tips and when out in the park she chucks water over me which I hate but she says it keeps me cool. She LIES. It is just torture.
    Have a serene Sunday. Hope you get some big easy on today.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. I try to do the same thing to Shiner, and I think she feels the same way you do Molly :)

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  5. We have to watch Phod in the summer, he gets over heated if we aren't careful!

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  6. Thanks for sharing, these are great things to remember!

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  7. that is excellent info Ann,xx Rachel

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  8. It's been crazy hot here today but I've been in and out of the water most of the day

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  9. Great information, Ann! Not that we get a lot of hot weather here, but we get more than we used to. Plus I think if we're not as used to it, it could affect all of us more. I worry about it so always try to be careful....we also try to be sure to do our exercising early in the morning before it gets hotter.

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  10. Always having water available is a most important first step for staying safe in the summer heat. It's also important to know what to do if your dog gets overheated. I didn't know about the rubbing alcohol for the ears and paws - thank you for all the great information!

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    1. We used rubbing alcohol on all kinds of animals who were experiencing a rise in temperature, not just dogs!

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  11. Best advice is to not let them get overheated in the first place, but good to know what to do if it happens.

    --Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

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  12. Just as a note, the ground stays actually quite cool even on the hottest days. I mean actual natural ground, of course, not pavement. Laying down on the ground in the shade has amazing cooling power. Jasmine knew this and when she was sick and I started laying down on the ground with her I was amazed how quickly it literally sucks the heat out of you.

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    1. Our ground is usually so dry that it seems to always be hot. But I live very south. Definitely in the shade it would be cooler. I guess that's probably why dogs like to dig holes in the dirt and lay in them :)

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  13. Excellent tips. Way too many dogs are left in cars over the summer. Great reminder about the pavement. I touch the back of my hand to the black top to see if it's cool enough for my pups' paws.

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  14. I was at a hunt test once where a dog had heat stroke. (It was actually making a water retrieve at the time.) Luckily a vet was standing right next to me and this is what she did. We got the dog into shade and took wet towels and laid them on the dogs, changing them out every few minutes. She said never ever use ice, or ice water or put the dog into water. It was a valuable learning experience for me and the dog was fine.

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    1. Yes using ice or ice water can kind of put them into shock. A warmish water is usually OK though and we've done it several times with dogs experiencing heat stroke. Thank goodness there was a vet around at the test!

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  15. Thanks for this information. I have Shih Tzu, and this breed can tend to overheat in the summer, so we limit their time outdoors, but it's always good to know what to do if they ever do overheat

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Thank you for your comments!

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