Your dog’s fur does a great job of keeping it warm during the winter. But when the temperature heats up, your dog’s coat isn’t very useful for helping to regulate heat. Instead, the way dogs get rid of heat is through a combination of panting and the glands in their footpads. While this works fine in normal conditions, dogs can only deal with so much heat.

If a dog gets too hot, it can cause their body to overheat. In a worst case situation, this results in a heat stroke. Since heat stroke can be a very serious condition, it’s important to understand how to recognize the signs and what to do if it happens. Just as importantly is knowing what you can do to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Signs and Causes of Heat Stroke

Excessive panting is an early sign that a dog is overheating. If this continues, a dog will begin to exhibit other signs of discomfort. It’s important to take stock of the surrounding temperature and decide if it seems too hot for a dog. The most common cause of this type of incident is a dog getting left in a car on a hot day. It can also happen if a dog is outside during the peak heat and is either too active or doesn’t have enough shade.

What to Do If Your Dog Has a Heat Stroke

Heat stroke can cause a dog to loses consciousness. If this happens, run cool water over your dog while preventing any water from going in its mouth. You can also apply an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables to the dog’s head. You’ll want to massage your dog’s legs and then let your dog drink as much water as it wants upon waking. Putting a pinch of salt in the water can help your dog get lost minerals back. Then as soon as possible, get your dog to the vet so it can be checked for unseen problems like kidney issues, brain swelling or abnormal blood clotting.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke

The most important thing you can do is never leave your dog in your car during the summer. Even if it’s just a few minutes, temperatures can quickly spike to unsafe levels. It’s also important to avoid too much activity during the hottest hours of the day. And when you are outside with your dog, make sure there’s shade and fresh drinking water available.

If you can’t be with your dog during the day and want to ensure it’s in a safe environment with loving professionals who know how to prevent issues like heat stroke, be sure to take a look at our dog day care services for Cincinnati and the surrounding areas.

Dog Safety in the Summer Heat

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

Summer provides an ideal opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy quality time with your dog. While summer is perfect for making lots of fun memories with your faithful companion, it's important to remember that this season does present a very real threat. Significant heat is the threat that's raised throughout the course of the summer. Because temperatures can get very hot in Ohio during the summer, it's vital to recognize the danger this can present for your dog.

Although dogs have biological mechanisms like panting that help them to regulate their internal temperature when things heat up, that doesn't mean they're equipped to handle the most extreme of temperature spikes. Just as the summer heat can put people of all ages in danger, there are specific situations that are especially risky for dogs.

Since you want to be able to enjoy the laid-back pace of summer while always ensuring that your pooch is safe, here's what you need to keep in mind:

Parked Cars Are the #1 Danger

If you're going to take your dog with you on a drive, make sure that they get out of the car at the same time you do. Even if you're only planning to run into a store to grab a few items, you should never leave your pet in a parked car. While many pet owners assume that cracking their car windows will create ventilation, the temperature inside a parked car can still reach an unsafe level in less than 10 minutes.

Exercise in Moderation

Whether it's a walk or a game of fetch, it's definitely fine to have outdoor fun with your dog during the summer. Just stay aware of their activity level so that your canine doesn't start to overheat. In addition to always having water with you, try scheduling outdoor playtime during the less hot hours of the day is best.

Humidity Can Be a Big Issue for Dogs

When the sun is beating down on West Chester or Cincinnati, it's obvious that you want to keep your dog cool and comfortable. However, plenty of pet owners aren't aware that it doesn't have to be blazingly hot for issues to arise. On days when it's really humid, you need to exercise the same level of caution with your dog.

Ensure Your Dog is Cool When You're Away

While fans can help keep humans cool inside, they're not nearly as effective for dogs. So if you're going to leave your dog at home during the day, you need to utilize a different method to ensure they stay cool.

If you have any concerns about leaving your dog at home on especially hot days, there's no reason to leave their safety to chance. With Dog Day, Every Day!, you can keep your beloved pet in a safe environment. For as little as $15 a day, our team of dog lovers will keep your dog comfortable and entertained throughout the summer.