The sun is shining. Temperatures are rising. The grill is going. School is out. Life is good in the summer time. Everyone gets to spend more time outside, including our dogs. But with higher temps comes higher risks, and heatstroke in dogs can turn deadly quickly. Heatstroke occurs when your dog's temperature rises to 104.9 degrees-109.4 degrees (normal range is 101-102.5 degrees). As we enjoy these summer months, we must always be careful, cautious, and remember that if you're feeling hot - your dog's feeling hotter. Keep reading for tips on how to avoid heatstroke in your dog, what to look out for, and how heatstroke is treated.
One of the best ways to keep your companions cool is to plan outdoor activities ahead of time. This allows you to monitor the forecast, heat index, and temperatures outside and in cars. If you're questioning whether bringing your dog is a good idea, it's best to play it safe and leave them at home in the cooler air. If you can't bear the thought of leaving Fido home, remember that it's ok to change plans for the sake of your pet's safety. Instead, try opting for an indoor activity to keep your dog entertained and cool. If you do venture outside, avoid the hottest parts of the day and always check the temperature of pavement. If it's too hot for your hand, it's definitely too hot for your dog's paw pads.
All dogs are at risk for heatstroke, with brachycephalic breeds at an increased risk. Warning signs that your pet may be in danger of heatstroke include:
Left untreated, heatstroke can cause:
Don't let your summer fun turn into sudden heartbreak. We all know those sun-seeking dogs and fetch dogs that will push themselves to the limit because they don't know when to stop. It's our job to monitor and regulate their time in the heat. But it's important to note that heatstroke isn't limited to time spent outside. It can also be a result of dogs kept in confined spaces, in parked cars, and even sunrooms.
Does this mean you can't have fun with your dog in the summer? Absolutely not! It just means there's more to consider when temperatures reach their peaks. Remember: shade, water, fans, and even misters are essential to your dog's summer activities!
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4268 Three Mile NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
After hour emergency consultations are available to clients of record until 10:00 pm. Our main line will direct to the doctor on call.