When the sun shines and the weather warms, it’s tempting to throw caution to the wind and let your buddy frolic outside for hours. However, scorching temperatures can be dangerous for canines. It’s important to recognize the signs of overheating, and seek immediate veterinary care if your dog displays any symptoms.
Signs of Overheating
A dog’s temperature should never rise above 104 degrees. Anything above that temperature qualifies as overheating. One of the earliest signs of heat stroke is excessive panting and salivation. Further overheating and deterioration presents glazed eyes, dry, dark pink gums, fever, lack of coordination, weakness, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, seizure, unconsciousness and, if untreated, organ damage and death.
Preventing heatstroke is imperative. Brachycephalic breeds, those with shortened heads and squished noses such as pugs, Boston terriers and bulldogs, are especially heat sensitive. Very young and older dogs, overweight dogs and those suffering from medical conditions are also more sensitive to hot weather. All dogs, and especially those mentioned, should receive limited exercise, ample shade and plenty of fresh water on hot days.
Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.