Very high temperatures can have serious consequences, such as ‘heat stroke’, which without rapid intervention can lead to the death of the animal, so, from the College of Veterinarians of Madrid, we want to offer a small guide to prevent it, detect symptoms and act if they occur
Our pet must have fresh and clean water available 24 hours a day and periodically check that there is water in the drinker and that it is not in full sun: in summer it is easy for the water to evaporate or simply heat up and the dog stops drink for that. Water is not important only at home: do not forget to take water with you when you go for a walk, go on a hike or take a car trip with your dog.
Intense heat can reduce your pet’s appetite and desire to move. It is recommended to feed him in the less warm hours of the day, such as first thing in the morning or at night
It is very important that the dog has a cool and protected place from the sun where to rest, especially in the warmest hours of the day both at home and if he lives abroad and it is not advisable to go for a walk in the central hours of the day when the heat it is more extreme. The street floor, being very hot, can damage the pads and it is common that when walking and running at these times, they can suffer from lipothymias. In addition, as many veterinarians recommend in their consultations, when you take your dog out for a walk, apply the “5 second rule”: Can you endure the heat of the asphalt for 5 seconds by putting the back of your hand on the ground? If not, the same happens to them on the pads of their legs, so it is not the time to remove it and, if necessary, it should be walked where there is grass or on the asphalt but looking for some shade, since they can suffer erosions and even burns in their pads.
You should NEVER leave your dog in a car with the windows closed, even if he is in the shade.
When you cut your hair, the important thing is to leave about 2-3 centimeters in length since the hair partly protects from heat and sunburn.
Dogs do not perspire like humans, but only through their mouths, making their self-regulation of temperature much more difficult, since they only cool down through breathing and panting (we must be more careful with certain breeds, such as boxers, pugs, bulldogs, and any dog of the brachycephalic type, that is, with a short or flat muzzle) and therefore are much more prone to heat stroke than humans.
All of the above is very important to prevent heat stroke but, if it occurs, we must be vigilant and detect its symptoms (See diagram above)
If the animal is breathing with difficulty and refuses to walk, the first thing to do is try to lower the temperature as soon as possible. Quickly find a shade, offer him water if he can drink, and refresh him little by little (never suddenly in a bathtub or with a hose) until he stabilizes and returns to normal breathing.
If the symptoms or the situation are more serious, you can soak a T-shirt or other fabric that you have on hand in water and apply it as a damp cloth on the neck and head and take it urgently to a veterinary center.
Source. Official College of Veterinarians of Madrid