As summer rolls around, you likely look forward to outdoor walks and other activities in the nice weather with your dog. But it is also important that you take care of your dog because they can be quite affected by the heat of the summer season. Get to know some of the signs of overheating in your dog as well as what you can and should do if it occurs. Then, you can be sure you are doing everything you can to take proper care of your dog this summer season.
One of the first signs you will notice from your dog when they are beginning to overheat is heavy panting. If your dog cannot stop panting and it is much more pronounced and heavy than usual, you should definitely get them out of the heat as soon as possible.
Heavy panting is an early warning sign if it is not accompanied by other symptoms, and it can help you to take the necessary steps to get your dog's body temperature back under control as soon as possible.
Increased Pulse and Heartbeat
Another sign of overheating in your dog is an increased pulse and heart rate. If you are used to snuggling up with your dog, you will likely know their normal heartbeat and can just feel whether or not their pulse is rapid.
Otherwise, to check their pulse you will need to find the depression or indentation on the inner upper thigh. You can either count the beats for 60 seconds or count the beats for 30 seconds and then double it.
If your dog is small, their pulse should be between 90 and 160 beats per minute. Larger dogs have pulses of 65 to 90 beats per minute. When their pulse is significantly higher than this, you have cause for concern.
If your dog does not drool usually or only drools a little and is suddenly drooling profusely, you are likely dealing with a dog that is overheated. Monitor them for additional symptoms and get them somewhere cool.
What to Do About Overheating
If your dog is overheating, get them inside and into cool air to start with. However, if their pulse does not go down or their panting does not lighten up and subside, you will need to take further steps. Try to cool your dog by getting them wet with cool water.
Then, contact your veterinarian and head to their office. If they are not open, call and go to an emergency veterinarian's office.
They will quickly assess your dog's condition to see if they are suffering from heatstroke. If this is the case, they will quickly administer IV fluids and start monitoring your dog for more severe symptoms and reactions. Sometimes, a breathing tube may be necessary as well.
Now that you know some of the signs of overheating in your dog, you can be sure you get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog does not immediately respond to being moved to a cool area.
To learn more, contact a resource like the Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic.