Dog Heat Stroke & Exhaustion

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Just a few simple actions can help protect your pet from dog heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

First, never leave your dog in the car without the air conditioner running. Even a few minutes in the sun can raise the interior temperature of a car (with windows open or closed) to fatal temperatures.

If you’re doing errands and know that you’ll be in and out of your car, your safest option is to leave the dog at home. However, if you really must leave your dog in the car for even the shortest amount of time, leave the air conditioner on.

Second, give your dog a shaded, well-ventilated resting area that remains shaded at all times, regardless of the sun’s position. Of course, during the hottest part of the day, the ideal place for your dog is an air conditioned structure.

Third, make sure that your dog has access to cool, clean water. Place the water in a shaded area so that it does not heat up from direct sunlight. Change the water often, as stagnant water can harbor bacteria and insects that are harmful to a dog’s digestive system. When traveling, make sure that you have a water dish and fresh water (one gallon per day) at all times.

If your dog spends all day outside, fill a small wading pool with water and place it in a shaded area. Your dog can cool himself off throughout the day by jumping in and out of the pool.

Fourth, avoid any situation where your dog must stand on a sun-baked surface. Such surfaces include truck beds, sidewalks, streets, and beach sand. The heat not only can burn your dog’s skin, but can also prevent your dog from efficiently expelling heat from his body. If you must walk your dog in the heat of the day, walk him on a grassy area.

Updated: November 11, 2012 — 2:29 am

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