With the summer months just around the corner, it is only a matter of time before the temperatures will start to rise. While everyone goes outside to enjoy the beautiful weather, the needs of our pets are sometimes forgotten. While they, in fact, may need some extra attention during this time. Every year there are a number of cases of dogs dying from overheating.
What is heat stress?
Heat stress for dogs is a condition that causes them to be unable to control their body temperature due to high temperatures combined with humidity. The overheating is caused because dogs cannot sweat through their skin like people can, which means they can not lose the excessive heat. The normal body temperature for a dog is around 38 - 39 degrees Celcius. When the body temperature rises above 40.5 degrees Celcius, the dog's health is at risk.
What are the effects off heat stress?
In an attempt to restore the body to a normal temperature, the body tries to increase the heat output by forcing a faster blood circulation. The heart rate goes up, making the heart work harder. The dog starts to sweat (through the soles of their paws) and pant faster.
Overheating can have serious, sometimes even fatal, consequences for a dog. They can suffer from heat cramps (in the muscles), they walk around dazed and confused, vomiting, have diarrhea and in some cases a dark red/purple tongue. Dogs may also faint, which occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to the brain. In the worst cases, the dog may have a heat stroke which can cause them to die.
How can you treat your dog suffering from heat stress?
When your dog is suffering from a heat stroke, it is of vital importance that you remove the dog from the heat as quickly as possible. Bring him to a cool, ventilated space and place him on a cool surface. Try gradually to lower the body temperature and do not pour a bucket of water over your dog. Cool off the head so that the brain does not overheat and improve the breathing. Give him enough water, perhaps even with some dissolved salt.
How can you avoid your dog from getting heat stress?
Of course it is always better to avoid heat stress. Make sure the dog always has enough cold water. It is also important to keep the dog's body cool. Special cooling mats like the °COOLPETS - Dog Mat will ensure that your dog always has a cool place to rest. The special gel in the mat ensures that this mat is always cool, even on the hottest days. And with products like the Chuckit Hydro Flyer, the Chuckit Hydro Squeeze Ball, the Chuckit Ultra Ball, the Chuckit Hydro Roller, the Chuckit Rugged Flyer, the Chuckit Hydro Squeeze Duo Tug, the Chuckit Hydro Squeeze Bumper, the Chuckit Hydro Freeze Ball and/or the Chuckit Rugged Bumper, your dog can enjoy the hot weather just as much as yourself!