While most of us love a hot summer day, it can be dangerous for dogs – especially for older dogs. Dogs are much more susceptible to heatstroke than humans (you probably would be, too, if you wore a fur coat all year round!).
Dogs only have sweat glands on their feet, so they must rely on panting to cool down their bodies. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very effective way to beat the heat. It’s not a good idea to exercise your dog on very hot or humid days as it could lead to heatstroke.
When you do take him out for a walk, try to go earlier in the morning or later at night when the temperature is cooler. Summertime travelling with your dog can add to his discomfort. For long distances, place a frozen ice pack under his crate or under a towel in his crate.
This will aid in keeping him cool for brief time periods.
NEVER leave your dog in a car.
Even if it’s only 70° F or if you park in the shade with the window cracked. If you think you may need to leave your car and you can’t take your dog with you, you’ll be better off just leaving your dog at home. Even with the windows down, it can become so stifling hot that your dog could suffer a heat stroke within minutes, which can be fatal.
For short trips to the store, etc., leave him home.If you’re outdoors, make sure there’s a shady spot available for your dog to seek refuge from the sun. Bear in mind that, as the sun shifts, so does the shade – you’ll need to be sure there’s more than one shady spot available if you’re planning on being outdoors for any length of time.
Most importantly, always have plenty of fresh, cool drinking water on hand for your dog. Don’t leave the water bowl in the sun, or it will heat up. Be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion. Signs of heatstroke include severe panting, bright red gums, collapse and coma, Gasping for air, Unsteady walking due to dizziness, Laying down or collapsing, unable to get up. Becoming unconscious. His temperature, which is normally 101.5 to 102 will read as high as 105.
If you think your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion, move him out of the sun immediately and into the shade or into an air-conditioned building. Immediate body cooling is necessary. Give him some water to drink and, if possible, rinse him off either in the bathtub or with a garden hose.
Finally, place some ice packs around the head and neck.
As soon as your dog has cooled down take him to the veterinarian to ensure he’s O.K.