Today is National Heat Awareness Day! In Maryland, the temperature has been rising into the 90-degree territory and above. It’s safe to say that most people start feeling uncomfortable after the heat index rises to a specific point. Excessive heat can have a negative health impact on people. It affects our canine companions as well. If it’s too hot, you should stay indoors and keep your fur babies inside as well. Today we will cover some serious “hot topics” such as why dogs shouldn’t walk on hot pavement, car safety, and the signs and symptoms of heatstroke in dogs.
Most pet parents know that you should never leave your dog in a hot car, even with the windows cracked. It takes a few minutes for the temperature inside a car to reach dangerous levels. Open windows won’t keep your canine companion safe because even if it’s only 70 degrees outside, a car can still get to 100 degrees within about 20 minutes. The AVMA reported that an open window hardly changes these statistics.
People can walk around on hot pavement all day because they have shoes to protect their feet. Some dogs may have feet covered with fur, but they also have paw pads without a furry, protective covering. Paw pads are not immune to burns. The reality is that even if it’s 75 degrees outside, the pavement is much hotter.
The alternative to your canine companion walking on hot pavement is, of course, allowing them to walk on grass or soil. If you want to take them out for a walk, but you know it’s much too hot, try taking them for a swim instead. Dog shoes, socks, and booties are also helpful, as well as walking your dog earlier in the morning or later at night.
Signs/Symptoms of Heatstroke
The #1 sign that your dog may have heatstroke is excessive panting. Other symptoms of discomfort may include excessive drooling, red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, or your dog collapsing. Heatstroke, if left untreated, can cause the brain to swell, kidneys to fail, intestines to bleed, and the blood to clot. It can even be fatal. All dogs are susceptible to heatstroke, but pugs, bulldogs, and any Brachycephalic breeds (mushy-faced dogs) are highly vulnerable.
- Get Your Dog out of Direct Heat
- Place Cool, Wet Towels Over Your Dog’s Head, Feet, Neck, etc.
- Alternatively, Pour Cool Water Over the Areas Listed Above ^
- Rub 70% Isopropyl alcohol on your dog’s paw pads to help cool them down
- Use a rectal thermometer to ensure that your dog’s temp comes down to under 105 degrees.
- Refrain from blowing frigid air or freezing water on your dog.
While taking these steps, give MCAH a call immediately to let us know you are on your way with your pup. And don’t forget to spread the news about National Heat Awareness Day to fellow dog owners
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!