Will My Dog Overheat & Get Heatstroke If I Leave Him In The Car Even For A Few Minutes?
Heatstroke & Overheating
The Summer months bring hot temperatures which can quickly and severely impact our pets. As dog owners, protecting our pets from heatstroke and overheating is our responsibility.
Our bodies are built with an automatic cooling system when we get overheated that causes us to sweat which cools our body temperature.
Dogs get overheated more quickly than people because they don’t perspire like people. They pant to cool down which is not effective enough in extremely warm environments.
Overheating can lead to heatstroke and in some cases death.
Here are the signs that your dog is overheating:
- Drooling or panting rapidly
- red gums
- lack of coordination
If your dog has any of these symptoms here’s what you can do:
- Move the dog immediately to a cooler place
- Pour some cool water on the dogs’ neck and head
- If the dog is unconscious, seek emergency Veterinarian care.
- If the dog is alert and responsive in a cooler environment and after resting, provide some water and be attentive to keeping the dog from overheating again.
Some ways to help prevent Heatstroke:
- Pay attention to your dog’s needs: If you exercise with your dog in hot weather, be aware of their endurance and limits. Tolerance for heat and stamina can vary widely between individual dogs.
- The beach, sidewalks, or asphalt can also be surfaces that get very hot and can burn your dog’s paws. Check the surface with your hand to determine if it’s too hot.
- If you and your dog walk in the heat, you might consider booties to protect your dog’s feet. One company that makes booties is Neo-Paws (neo-paws.com).
- Exercise your dog very early or at sunset to avoid direct exposure with the sun’s rays. Many pet stores or camping stores have collapsible bowls that make watering your dog away from home easy.
If your dog is outside:
- It should have plenty of shade
- It should have access to water.
- Dogs appreciate fans and air conditioning and often will lay with their belly on the floor to cool off.
- A kiddie pool is another way to provide your dog with a fun way to cool off.
Best practice is to never leave your dog in a confined space like a car which can potentially heat up quickly. Temperatures inside a car can exceed the temperature outside. Dogs are depending on us to make good judgements and not place them at risk. Awareness of heatstroke and how to avoid it helps to keep your dog safe.