Protecting your dogs from heatstroke this summer

Protecting your dogs from heatstroke this summer. File Photo EWN

It is necessary to protect our dogs from heat strokes, especially in summer.

Unlike humans, dogs do not have sweat glands all over their bodies; they only have them on the legs and can only regulate the temperature through their panting. Heatstroke is a reaction in which the body temperature rises sharply and the organism is not able to compensate for it, which causes multiorgan dysfunction that can lead to death.

Heatstroke can occur when the dog is locked in a place where the ambient temperature is too high such as a sunny balcony, a car, a room without proper ventilation and exercise and walks at times of maximum heat. Very young dogs, old ones, obese and brachycephalic dogs (like the English and French bulldog or the pug, among others) can suffer heat strokes even in winter.

Clinical signs appear when the body temperature exceeds 42°C, with excessive panting, rapid breathing, weakness and event convulsions, loss of consciousness, vomiting and diarrhoea and finally, death occurs

Heat stroke is a medical emergency and it is necessary to urgently take the dog with these signs to the veterinarian.

According to the experts of the veterinary hospital AniCura Marina Baixa, some of the most important precautions that we must take are these:

  • Always leave fresh water accessible to your dog or dogs.
  • Let them be in wide and ventilated spaces, and with shade.
  • Avoid exercise and walks at times of maximum heat.
  • When travelling in summer it is important to put air conditioning to an adequate temperature, take breaks and provide dogs with fresh water during the journey.
  • Take them out for a walk early or late in the day, avoiding hot hours.
  • NEVER leave it inside the car.

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