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Sometimes we forget that our fur babies aren’t invincible especially when we’re having a good time with them in the great outdoors. With it being deep in the summer season though, things are still as hot as ever and if you’re feeling hot, chances are your dog is feeling hot too. Think about it. Humans and dogs sweat differently. We sweat all over while dogs only sweat through surfaces not covered in their fur (paws, nose, etc). They do, however, have sweat glands with each follicle on their body.

Summertime temperatures pose a risk for our fur babies and they could potentially suffer from a heatstroke. Dogs that are most at risk of heatstroke are long-haired breeds and brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds, dogs that are overweight, and dogs that are either young or old in age. There are ways to identify if your fur baby is suffering from a heatstroke and ways to avoid a heatstroke!

Here are symptoms of heatstroke to keep an eye out for from American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Canine Health Foundation website, noting that “signs of heat stroke are very similar to the signs seen in humans, although dogs pant more in an effort to cool themselves”:

  • Panting
  • Hypersalivation (drooling)
  • Warm to touch
  • Red mucous membranes of mouth
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dry nose
  • Quiet or poorly responsive, may lay down and refuse or be unable to rise
  • Vomiting
  • Blood from mouth or in stool
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors
  • Ataxia (staggering)
  • Coma
  • Death

  • THE BEST SOLUTION IS PREVENTION 

    Paying attention to the weather is crucial to avoiding heat exhaustion in dogs. If it’s too hot or too humid, limiting the amount of time spent outdoors is necessary. When time spent outdoors occurs on these types of days, access to shade and water is of the utmost importance. And it goes without saying, leaving your dog in a parked car - even if the windows are rolled down and shade is available - is not a good idea. 

    TAKING ACTION IF YOUR DOG IS EXPERIENCING HEAT EXHAUSTION 

    If your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion, Vetstreet.com recommends the following: “If you’ve missed the warnings and your dog is overheated, move your pet immediately to the shade or an air-cooled area. Use cool water — not ice-cold water or ice, which constricts blood vessels and traps heat — on your dog’s belly, concentrating on the groin. If you do have a thermometer, lubricate the tip and insert it gently into the rectum to get an accurate temperature to share with your veterinarian. Offer your pet cool water to drink but don’t force water into your dog’s mouth. And then call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic to let someone know you are on your way.” 

    This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog at this section. Feel free to leave a comment with tips you’re looking for!
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