Posted on July 19, 2018

Health Awareness! Know the Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Dog summerKeeping our dogs safe during periods of intense heat is an aspect of pet ownership even more important as ensuring your pet has up to date dog name tags. As most dogs have a fur coat, they can succumb to heatstroke quickly, making it even more important to keep an eye out for the signs.

Dogs can’t sweat. They must pant to release extra heat so if your pup starts to pant rapidly and show signs of distress, make sure to get them somewhere cool and give them plenty of water.

Some breeds of dog are more susceptible to heatstroke than others so it’s best to keep them out of the sun entirely. Breeds which have shorter snouts – bulldogs, pugs and boxers for instance – will have a harder time keeping cool through panting.

Remember! Shaving your dog, particularly certain breeds which have an insulating layer of fur, can be detrimental to your dog’s ability to keep cool. If you aren’t sure, speak to a professional dog groomer who can offer more advice for your dog’s breed.

Signs of Heatstroke

There are certain signs to look out for if you are concerned about your dog suffering heatstroke. Keep an eye out for rapid panting, excessive drooling, increased lethargy and potentially staggering or loss of balance. Should you notice these symptoms, seek out vet treatment straight away while keeping your dog cool. Dampen their fur with cold (not freezing) water and encourage them to drink (but don’t force them).

There are a number of ways to avoid your dog suffering from heatstroke in the peak of summer:

Reduce Walks

As the air temperature heats up, so does the surface temperature of the ground. This increased temperature can cause scorching and burns to your dog’s paw pads so refrain from taking them on walks when temperatures are at their highest. Instead, allow them to run around on the grass during the cooler parts of the day.

If you aren’t sure whether the ground temperature is too much for your dog, place the back of your hand on the ground. If it’s too hot for you to keep your hand down for more than a few seconds, it’s too hot for your dog. Avoid tarmac or asphalt surfaces throughout the day and evening as these can rapidly absorb and retain heat.

Have Water and Ice Available

Your dog should have access to clean, fresh water at all times, although in hot temperatures you may need to have more bowls available and top them up more often. You could even offer a bowl of ice (alongside water) for your pup to lick and chew on as this will help them cool down quicker. Additionally, you could freeze some of your furry friend’s favourite treats in ice cubes to encourage them to eat the ice and cool down.

Depending on the breed and size of your dog, you may want to put out a paddling pool for them to use. Fill with cold (not freezing) water and a couple of ice cubes. Your dog is sure to enjoy having a splash around to keep cool.

Doggy Suntan Lotion

Yes, this is an actual product! Designed for applying to lighter coloured dogs or dogs with less fur in sensitive spots, pet-safe suntan lotion can be used to prevent sunburn on delicate noses and ears.

As long as you know the signs and are aware of how to avoid heatstroke, you and your furry best friend should have an enjoyable summer together. However, if you are concerned about your dog in the heat, speak to your vet for further advice.

Although it may be tempting to remove their collar in the summer, your dog is required by law to have up to date dog name tags at all times. If you require new dog tags, check out our selection of novelty and designer dog name tags online.

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