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Dog lover questions answered and our heatstroke experience:
- How can I keep my dog cool outside?
- Do fans help dogs keep cool?
- Can a dog survive heat stroke?
- How do you cool down an overheating dog?
Dog’s normal temperature is higher than Humans. Having a fever for a dog would be over 103 F. It only takes 3 degrees, 106 F, for your dog to be at risk for a heat stroke. If your dog’s temperature reaches that, call your vet. Dogs that are going to be at greater risk are the ones with thicker coats, very young or very old dogs, and also those that are on the heavier side (like my Riley).
Riley has overheated and it was pretty scary. She followed my daughters out when they went riding on their horses. I have mentioned that before in my blog about how much water dogs need a day. We notice now that Riley tends to overheat more easily ever since that happened. She is a bit on the heavier side, although switching to the better dog food (Taste of the Wild) has given her more energy and she walks with me daily; so she is healthier! –> See blog on commercial dog food and the health risksBuy Dog Food Today – Shop over 1,000 Brands at Chewy!
Can a dog survive heat stroke?
You have to catch it early, like we did. Thankfully. If you don’t the organs can begin to shut down and their heart could stop. We noticed early signs as panting super hard and then she got wobbly. When Riley followed the girls out on their horses, she didn’t make it back. My oldest daughter had to ride her horse back to the house and get the ATV; then go back out to pick Riley up because he was laying down. She just couldn’t get enough air, her tongue was hanging way out panting so hard. That is also why you always need water with you when you have your dog out exercising. Another suggestion is using a harness instead of a collar. Collar’s pull on the the throat and can be tight making it harder for them to get the deep breath they may need if overheating.
A dangerously overheated dog can experience seizures, heavy panting, excessive drooling, lack of coordination, muscle tremors, exhibit vomiting or diarrhea. Their gums or tongue could also turn blue or bright red.
Side note: Dogs pant in order to regulate their temperature. Their sweat glands are mainly to release pheromones, not to cool them down.
How can I keep my dog cool outside?
Your best bet is not to exercise your dog outside when it’s too hot. If your dog has extra energy, exercise can help keep them more calm. Therefore, we offer dog treadmills and dog treadwheels, they are becoming more popular as an indoor dog exercise option, especially in states that are hot most of the year.
If you have to take your fur baby outside make sure you provide shade, water and try going early when it’s cooler out. There are also vests and bandanna’s to help them stay cool. Ruffwear offers a dog vest with a three layer cooling system. I will add the Amazon link to that dog cooling vest here. There are also self cooling pet pads you can get that absorb body heat and reduce body temperature. Dog cooling bandana’s are a popular choice as you just soak them in cold water and they help keep your dog cool for hours. I would highly suggest one of these options if you are taking them out in the heat! Especially if they have a lot of fur or are a senior dog.
How do you cool down an overheating dog?
You want to immediately move your dog to a cooler area, where there is air conditioning or shade. A fan can help cool them down also, especially their hot fur. We threw Riley in a pool with fresh cold hose water. Either that or some kind of fresh water helps cool your dog down from overheating. If your dog is willing to drink, they will probably be drinking already if thrown in a pool, but if not, make sure they get some water. Don’t force them to drink water, but you can wet their tongue. Also don’t give them ice cubes, that could cause shock. Lastly, call your vet if they show signs of heat stroke.
I really hope this helps you to know the signs and keep your dog cool to prevent overheating or heatstroke!
Dog Bless~ The Dog Connection