During warm weather, you dog can suffer some of the same health issues as humans, including heat stroke. Your pet’s body is 80 percent water just like yours. While heat sickness is often associated with summer, you and your pet can have problems any time the temperatures are warm. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that minimize the effects of heat on your pet.
Provide Adequate Water
Keeping your dog hydrated ensures his body systems are working properly. A lack of water can interfere with his digestion and waste elimination. It also makes it more difficult for your pet to control his body temperature and reduces circulation. If your dog has a darker colored coat or is overweight, he is more likely to suffer dehydration.
Know the Signs of Severe Dehydration in Dogs
Dogs cannot sweat, so they pant to cool their bodies. If your dog is drooling or panting heavily, he is becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can also cause lethargy and the skin does not fall back into place as quickly as normal when lifted. Without your intervention, he could suffer heat stroke, along with damage to his kidneys or heart. Take immediate steps to cool your dog slowly. Avoid using ice baths that cause shivering and raise the internal core more.
Clean Your Pets Water Bowl Every Day
A dirty water bowl is a breeding ground for bacteria that can make your pet sick. The bacteria can also give the water a foul taste so your pet does not drink it. Empty the water bowl, wash it thoroughly with soap and water, dry, and refill it with fresh water.
Choose Weighted Bowls That Do Not Tip
If your dog stays home when you are away at work, it is essential that he has water available all the time. If his water bowl tips and spills, it could be hours before you return home. Choose bowls that have a wide base and are weighted so they do not tip. Provide water in several locations in case a door closes.
Provide Water When Away From Home
Your dog also gets thirsty when outdoors or on a car trip. Bring a collapsible bowl that takes little space to store and a bottle of water. Fill the bowl and let him drink. When on a car trip, do not forget your dog also needs potty breaks.
Protect Your Dog’s Feet
On a warm day, dehydration is not the only potential problem. Hot asphalt can burn the pads of your dog’s feet. Go for walks early in the day before the sun has a chance to heat the asphalt. If you must walk when it is hot outside, provide doggy boots that protect his feet from the hot pavement.
Provide a Cool Place to Rest
When temperatures soar, make sure your pet has a cool place to rest. Keep him inside your air conditioned home where temperatures are cooler. If you are gone, make sure the thermostat is set at an appropriate temperature. If air conditioning is not available, provide your pet with a small plastic swimming pool where he can cool off or let him play in the sprinklers. Another method of cooling is to place a pan of ice behind a fan so the cool air blows over the pet. You can also provide him with a wet towel on which to lay, which cools him from the belly.
Don’t Forget the Cat
Cats can also suffer due to severe heat. Learn how to care for your cat in the heat by clicking here.
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