Hot weather can make us all uncomfortable, and it poses special risks for your dog. Yorkies and small dogs in particular can overheat quickly. Dehydration also poses a serious risk for little ones. Here are some tips from the American Kennel Club:
If your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. You may want to fill a child’s wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in.
Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.
Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun’s heat is less intense.
Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog’s paws.
Heatstroke can be the serious and often fatal result of a dog’s prolonged exposure to excessive heat. Below are the signs of heatstroke and the actions you should take if your dog is overcome.
- Heavy panting.
- Rapid breathing.
- Excessive drooling.
- Bright red gums and tongue.
- Standing 4-square, posting or spreading out in an attempt to maintain balance.
- White or blue gums.
- Lethargy, unwillingness to move.
- Uncontrollable urination or defecation.
- Labored, noisy breathing.
If your dog begins to exhibit signs of heatstroke, you should immediately try to cool the dog down:
- Apply rubbing alcohol to the dog’s paw pads.
- Apply ice packs to the groin area.
- Hose down with water.
- Allow the dog to lick ice chips or drink a small amount of water.
- Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes.
Check your dog’s temperature regularly during this process. Once the dog’s temperature has stabilized at between 100 to 102 degrees, you can stop the cool-down process.
If you cannot get the dog cooled down and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.