While we are all enjoying the summer sun and the activities that come with it, we may sometimes forget about our furry friends' reaction to the heat. Heat exhaustion can occur in any hot or humid space, even in a poorly ventilated indoor area. At the peak of the summer season, August is one of the hottest months of the year. With this, keeping pets cool and hydrated is of the utmost importance.
Pets, especially dogs, can appear to be tough and resilient to all types of weather, never complaining; that is, never complaining verbally. Dogs have different ways of telling us that they are getting overheated. These signs include excessive drooling or panting, struggling to breathe, a heightened pulse, or mild weakness in moderate cases. More severely, confusion or fainting, seizures, bloody diarrhea, or vomiting may occur. If you notice any of these signs of heat exhaustion in your pet, it is important to address it immediately.
There are many simple, yet powerful methods of treatment for heat exhaustion. The most effective way to cool your pet's body temperature is to wrap a towel soaked in lukewarm water around them. Lukewarm water should be used in place of cold water, as it will not suddenly reduce the animal's temperature, potentially causing harm. Additional ways to cool down your pet include placing them in front of a fan or dabbing cotton balls saturated in rubbing alcohol on their paws and stomach. Rubbing alcohol is toxic to animals, however, and should be kept safely away from a pet's mouth.
After your pet has cooled down to a point of not showing symptoms, it is recommended to contact a veterinarian, who may suggest additional treatment such as IV fluids, careful monitoring of blood pressure, or medications.
There are a few simple tips to prevent your animal from getting heat exhaustion.
New Year's Reflections
As we close out one year, and look forward to a new one, we wanted to take a moment to look back at where we've been, and to look ahead to where we are going.