Dogs bring with them a wealth of joy and energy which they love to expend outside. And as we head into the dog days of summer, it’s important that we get our dogs outside and enjoy the warm temperatures and longer days. But when temperatures get dangerously hot, heat related illnesses can ensue just like with humans.
Dr. Tim Polk, DMV, of Animal Medical Center in Lubbock explains. “Basically, a lot of the signs are similar to people. You know when we get an animal, whether it’s a dog or a cat, more often than not it’s a dog, we see extreme lethargy, spike in temperature, not wanting to eat, not wanting to drink, those are the classic signs. Panting excessively is another one.”
For many reasons, some dogs are outside dogs. In which case, extreme care and precaution must be used.
Dr. Polk further explains, “It’s imperative to have shade for these dogs. They need a place where they can retreat and get out of the sun. They need to have cool water and plenty of it as well. So it’s very important to provide them shelter, bring them in. And again, if that’s not possible, giving them shelter, putting a fan out there, checking the water frequently. The difference in us is that they do not have sweat glands. So really the only way they have to get heat off their bodies is either laying on a cool surface, or panting. So checking water frequently, adding ice cubes, keeping that water cool for them. Little kiddie pools are never a bad idea, turning on the water sprinklers, anything to cool them down. I think the key though is when it’s really this hot is to bring them inside.”