Dogs and the heat: tips to fight high temperaturas

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This post is also available in: esSpanish

Dogs are just as sensitive as humans to heat wave and dehydration. However, they have an added difficulty to regulate their body temperature: the lack of the ability to sweat. For this reason, we should be especially careful when levels rise. Let’s find out some steps to protect our dogs in the heat.

How to act when the dog suffers heatstroke

A dog can survive a lack of food, but if it loses more than 12% of the water from the body, it is possible to die.

Speed is essential to save the life of the dog where the temperature reaches 43 ° C.  The body heat must be lowered as soon as posible, to do this, you must put it in a cool place, wet it with cold water, put ice in the head and the abdomen and offer water to drink, little by little.

In this extreme situation, “you can soak the dog with alcohol because, as it evaporates quickly, it helps the body temperature drops faster”,

Preventing the consequences of heat

To avoid the consequences of heat in our pets, it is convenience:

1- Do not take your dog out for a walk or exercise during the hours of the day of more heat.

2- Make sure that the dog always keeps clean and fresh water at their disposal throughout the year, although it is not hot. A dog can survive a lack of food, but if it loses more than 12% of the water from its body, it can die. If the dog drinks a lot, even more than normal, nothing happens, because it will eliminate it easily. Just restrict the water if the dog vomits a lot.

3- If you notice that your dog is very hot, cool the body and head with water.

4- Air conditioning is also suitable for dogs. If you have it, the dog will also apreciate it. Trim the fur if it is very long, but do not leave it very short, since the hair protects the dog on both cold and heat. When the animal has an “Undercoat” (additional hair coat), its skin is better protected from the weather. It is the case of the Nordic breeds, like the Spitz or the Siberian Husky dog, although these dogs can suffer with the heat, as their morphology and fur are prepared to support better the cold than the heat.

Stroke heat in the car

Most of the blows of heat in dogs occur in cars. We often think that, for a few minutes, with the car on the shade and a window slightly ajar, the dog wont be in danger. But nothing further from reality. In just a few minutes, the car becomes a deadly trap for the dog. The vehicle can reach temperatures exceeding 50 ° C when it is hot and the dog will suffer a rise in body temperature that will endanger its life in these circumstances. ” it’s not that we attend too many cases each year of dogs that suffer from heat stroke from high temperatures, but when we do, they arrive in critical conditions and sometimes they do not survive”, says Manuel Lazaro, a veterinarian from the clinic Mirasierra in Madrid.

Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs

The dog that reaches a body temperature between 42 ° C and 43 ° C enters in a critical phase that is hard to beat. The symptoms that can alert that the dog has a very high body temperature are: dizziness, feeling that the dog is sick, breathes with difficulty, pants, can’t walk, loses balance, tachycardia, elevated temperature, mucous congested membranes, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, shock or loss of consciousness. Once the dog gets into this dangerous phase, should act quickly because if we wait to get to the vet, it might be late. We must try to stabilize it before going to the vet.

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