Jacksonville — As Northeast Florida combats sweltering heat, Jacksonville’s BluePearl Pet Hospital offers tips to keeping our beloved pooches cool. Keeping dogs cool ensures that no four-legged beauty will fall prey to heat stroke.
“Pet owners can prevent overheating from progressing to heatstroke, but they must know the signs and act quickly,” said Dr. Kevin Kelley, Emergency Service Head at BluePearl. “Most often, heat stroke is caused when a pet is left in a confined space with little or no ventilation during periods of warm temperatures and high humidity. While this is the most common scenario we see, it can happen anywhere – even walking outdoors on a semi-hot day.”
According to BluePearl, heat stroke is a pet emergency. If left un-treated, heat stroke can cause gastrointestinal upset, internal organ dysfunction, internal bleeding, infection, or in severe cases, death. Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s body temperature cannot be kept in a safe range.
“Pets are unable to sweat like humans, so the effects of heat are felt more quickly and strongly,” said BluePearl in a recent press release.
The 24-hour emergency vet and veterinary specialty animal hospital shares the following tips for keeping dogs cool:
How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs:
Schedule early morning walks before the day gets too hot and humid. Check the pavement temperatures to avoid dogs burning their paws.
Never leave a dog in a hot car. Heatstroke can occur within minutes, even on a warm day.
Ensure the dog has access to shade, ventilation, and water while outside, especially on hot, sunny days. Keep the dogs inside or keep them in a shaded area if outdoor temperatures rise higher than 80 degrees with humidity at 90 percent.
Keep dogs cool in a kiddie pool, splash pool, water sprinklers and/or any other water cooling agent when outside.
Trim short hair as short hair helps to venitalate their skin. Remember, dogs don’t sweat.
Overweight and elderly dogs, dogs with cardiac or respiratory problems, and dogs with short noses like bulldogs, boxers and pugs, are heat sensitive. Take extra precautions if you know your dog may be at risk.
Signs of heat truck in dogs include uncontrollable panting, foaming at the mouth, depression, lethargy, agitation, vomiting, loss of consciousness or sudden collapse. If a dog is suffering from heat stroke, their tongue and gums will turn from their bright red normal color to blue before turning gray.
Ways to Combat Heat Stroke:
Run cool water over your dog or place them in a cool pool or tub.
Wrap your dog with damp, cool towels.
Make water available but do not force the dog to drink. Never, under any circumstance, give any kind of sports drinks or electrolyte supplements to any pet – including dogs. These drinks are harmfull to them.
If your dog is panting uncontrollably or collapses, transport them to an emergency veterinary hospital immediately.
Additional Suggestions to Help Dogs Beat the Heat
Hose down hot pavement, patios, and porches. Water can help keep paws cool and avoid paw pad burns.
Add ice to water to keep the water cool for a longer period of time.
If a dog is crated, keep a fan on to ventilate the crate and keep the dog cool.
Dress the dog in a cold compress like a refrigerated wet bandana as temperature receptors are located around the neck of a dog.
Get a kiddy pool. A kiddy pool is a “terrific way” for dogs and people to stay cool.
BluePearl Pet Hospital | Jacksonville, FL | Emergency Vet
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