Hot Dogs and Summer Go Together (but Hot Weather and Dogs Shouldn’t)
Many of us enjoy cooking hot dogs on the grill during warm summer months; but remember that a “hot dog” can be dangerous if the dog in question is an overheated canine struggling with high temperatures. In fact, heatstroke in dogs can be deadly, with as many as 50% of dogs who suffer heatstroke not surviving the ordeal, according to a study by Hebrew University. Let’s take look at the problem of canine heatstroke and some ways to keep it from affecting your pooch:
What is Heatstroke?
According to a WebMD Pet Health feature, heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, “happens when a dog’s body temperature rises above the average 102.5 [degrees Fahrenheit]…and can’t be controlled by normal cooling processes, like panting. Warning signs include fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and, at the worst, confusion and seizures.”
How Can Heatstroke be Prevented in Dogs?
Preventing heatstroke in dogs starts with common sense and observation. The top sign that your dog is beginning to experience heatstroke is fatigue, according to Andrea Hilden, DVM. “If you’re out for a hike with your dog on a hot day and he’s searching for every shady spot to lie down in, turn around and carry him home.”
Be aware that ambient air temperature is not always the only factor in heatstroke. Temperatures above 80 degrees F plus high humidity plus exercise can spell danger for your dog. In particular, if you keep your dog in the car as you run errands, understand that the combination of warm temperatures, bright sunlight and a closed-up car can create pressure-cooker conditions that can be deadly. Did you know when it is just 80 degrees F outside, the temperature inside your car can reach nearly 115 degrees F in 30 minutes? Here is a chart showing how quickly temperatures can rise to dangerous levels.
What else can you do to keep your dog cool during warm summer days?
- Bring your dog indoors
- If outdoors, make sure your dog has plenty of shade
- Don’t overexert your dog on warm days
- Keep plenty of water on hand. (If you keep a water bottle for your own use, do the same for your dog.)
- Check out pet cooling products like the KoolCollar, Cooling Bandanna, Beach Cabana, and the Swamp Cooler Cooling Dog Vest.
- If attempting to keep your dog cool at a lake, pond or other body of water, be aware that fatigue can make swimming dangerous. In that case, use a product like the Pet Saver Lifejacket to reduce the danger.
Also, don’t forget your dog’s paws! Dogs normally “go barefoot” in the summer, but hot pavement can quickly burn their foot pads. If pavement is hot, carry or transport your dog in a cart or wagon, or seek cooler walking paths.
Our pets depend on us to keep them safe from warm-weather dangers. Do your dog a favor and make sure the only hot dog you have is the kind with mustard and relish on a bun. And if you are going to be outdoors for several hours and don’t want to leave your dog at home alone, give us a shout. We specialize in in-home pet sitting services for dogs and cats. Contact us today at 317.224.5243.
If you are looking for a pet sitter in Indianapolis, Carmel, Zionsville and nearby areas in Central Indiana, you’ve come to the right place. At Ask Linda Pet Sitting, we specialize in cat sitting, dog sitting, dog walking, and professional in-home pet care. We are not veterinarians, but we follow pet safety procedures and are trained for pet emergency situations. Above all, at Ask Linda Pet Sitting, we believe in education and proactive pet health. Linda is the only NAPPS certified pet sitter in Indianapolis, and is also a certified pet First Aid/CPR/Wellness instructor. Want to learn more? Ask Linda!