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How To Protect Your Dog From Heat Stroke

We are hitting dangerously hot temperatures in Socal right now and it's very important to keep an eye on our pets and make sure they're ok.  Dogs have a harder time with heat than humans. They can't sweat like we do, they can only do that through their paws. Painting is a way for them to cool off when overheated.  Painting can only cool them down so much, as temperatures get hotter it might now help.  

Heatstroke can occur in two ways for dogs:

 Environment Heatstroke is when a dog is exposed to high temperatures, such as being left in a hot car.  

Exertional (exercise related heatstroke) happens during or after exercise and can happen at any time of year.  

Heatstroke happens when an animal's body can no longer cool itself down and that is when serious damage such as brain damage and multiple organ failures can occur.  

Every year we hear stories of dogs dying because they are left in hot cars. Cars heat up very quickly so leaving your pets inside during Summer months is NEVER a good idea.   It can also be deadly for them to exercise when temperatures are high.  

In times of extreme heat, simply play time outside or even a 10 minutes walk can be too much for their little bodies.  

Here are a few ways to reduce the risk:

Exercise them in times of the day when it's much cooler out.  Avoid exercise in the heat.  

Don't leave your dogs in the car or unattended.  Even in the shade, cars still get too hot for them to be inside.  Leaving windows cracked open does nothing to help them either.  If you are traveling with your dog make sure to have the air conditioning on to help keep the car cool and make sure to cover windows so they don't have direct sunlight on them during travel.  

Always make sure they have cool water available during warmer weather.  

How to spot signs of Heatstroke:

Keep an eye on your pets during warm weather and look for signs as Heatstroke can happen very quickly.  Look for rapid breathing, lack of energy, and decreased urine production.  Followed by Heavy panting, bulging eyes and the tongue appearing excessively long and dark red in color.  

It is important to try cool down your pet and get them to the vet as fast as possible.  Avoid using very cold water or ice since this can cause more harm than good.  Use lukewarm water instead.  

Key areas to cool are the neck, abdomen, and inner thighs using lukewarm water or water soaked towels.  

It is important to not over cool your dog because this can lead to shock.  Hence why ice and cold water isn't recommended.  Using Lukewarm water is important!

Even after cooling them off a bit it is important to get them into the vet to make sure they are ok.  Heatstroke has been reported fatal in 39-50-% of dogs. 

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