Summer brings people and their pets outdoors, there’s no denying that. The sun beckons and that promise of heat and vitamin D lures dogs and humans alike outdoors to play, relax, and enjoy themselves.  But, rising temperatures also bring things to watch out for, like heat stroke. This is something to watch out for while you have Fido outside too.

At Raleigh Pet Sitters, we know how special your pets are to you, and on hot days, we’re especially aware of the dangers. We take precautions during our mid-day walks, and want to share a few tips so that you can keep your pup healthy while you enjoy all the summer weather has to offer.

Dog breeds susceptible to heat-related issues

Certain dog breeds are at a higher risk of developing heat related issues like heat exhaustion, or the more serious heatstroke.  Dogs with certain bodily characteristics may be more likely to develop these issues. For example, the English bulldog has a higher risk, since it has a short muzzle and breathes harder than other breeds;   an Akita’s thick coat is meant to keep this dog warm in cooler climates, so owners should take care that these dogs are protected in hot weather.

Signs of heat exhaustion in dogs

The normal body temperature for a dog usually ranges from 100 degrees to 102.5 degrees. As they start to get warmer, you’ll start to see certain signs of exhaustion. Those signs include the following:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive panting
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent stretching
  • Whining and vocalization for no apparent reason

Signs of heatstroke in dogs

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two forms of what is ultimately the same condition. Heat stroke is on the more serious end of the spectrum. Heat stroke can develop if a dog’s symptoms of heat exhaustion go unchecked.  Signs of heatstroke in dogs include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Lack of  coordination
  • Changes in the color of the gums
  • Dryness of the gums
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • And even death

Steps to avoid heat-related issues in dogs

If you feel that your dog may be at risk of getting too warm or developing the severe condition of heat stroke, there are a few things that you can do. To keep your pet safe, you might want to consider some of these steps.

  • Move your pet indoors or allow them to roam, going inside when they get the urge.
  • Keep cool water readily available and let them drink whenever they want.
  • Give your dog a cool bath or hose them down
  • If all else fails, keep your dog indoors where the air is cooler and their water and toys are readily available.

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from heat stroke, seek veterinary treatment immediately. We want the same thing you do: to be able to keep your furry friend healthy and happy for as long as possible. If you’re looking for someone to help you out with walking your four legged friend while you’re at work, we offer mid-day dog walks as part of our services.