How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Your Dog
Spring has arrived, albeit a little later than most of us would like, and summer is fast approaching. Almost all humans and animals enjoy the warmer weather. However, it is important to ensure that dogs are protected against the effects of heat stroke, particularly if you live in a location of high humidity.
The following tips should help you to prevent heat stroke in your dog:
1. Never Leave Your Dog in a Car
A simple, but often ignored rule, is to never leave your dog alone in a car. In a matter of minutes, your dog can succumb to the effects of the heat and every year this causes numerous fatalities. If you must leave your dog, ensure that you have left a window open or the air conditioning on. However, this is not a failsafe option, because the air conditioning could fail or the dog could inadvertently hit the switch and turn it off. Ideally, if your dog must remain in the car, somebody should stay with him, or her.
2. Ensure That Your Dog Has a Shady Spot
If your dog is out in the garden or yard, it is imperative that he, or she, has a shady area in which to cool off. If there is no shade and you cannot create some, then it is a good idea to keep your dog indoors.
3. Have a Supply of Water at All Times
Obviously, in your home it is crucial to have a regular supply of clean, cool water. However, it is also a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you when out for a walk or traveling. This is especially important if you have a breed that originates from cold climes, such as the St Bernard, because their thick coats will cause them to overheat very quickly.
4. Buy a Kiddies Pool
If you have children, then you may already have a kiddies, or paddling, pool. If not, it may be beneficial to purchase one for your dog. These small pools, give your dog a wonderful place to cool off.
5. Keep a Close Eye on Your Dog
In the warm weather, it is a good idea to keep a close watch on your dog. If he, or she, seems to be suffering from the effects of the heat, you should make efforts to cool him, or her, off immediately. If your dog seems to be suffering from heat stroke place him, or her, into a bath of cool (but not icy cold) water and call your vet.
6. Watch Out for Sunburn
Yes, dogs can become sunburned, too. If your dog has a light colored coat, then he, or she, is susceptible to sunburn, so it is advisable to keep him, or her, out of the direct sunlight as much as possible.
7. Cooling Devices
If you live in an area of extreme heat and humidity, it is well worth investing in some of the wonderful cooling devices that are available. There are cool vests, which contain cool water to keep a dog’s body temperature down. Alternatively, there are cooling beds and collars. Most of these products can be found in your local pet store.
To prevent heat stroke it is a good idea to consider all of the above. Remember, heat stroke can occur when a dog’s body temperature reaches just one degree above its normal level. Therefore, overheating can occur quickly, causing potential brain damage and death. So, it is crucial to keep your dog cool in the summer and make sure that you monitor his, or her condition carefully.