Heat Stroke Prevention for Dogs

The Resource for Everything About Dogs


Heat Stroke Prevention for Dogs

by Jt Clough


Just because it's hot out doesn't mean your dog should stop getting out for daily exercise. Try to plan your exercise for earlier in the morning or in the evening when it's cooled off. If you go out in the heat of the day cut the time in half and add another outing later.

Dogs don't have sweat glands like humans. Their cooling system is in their nose, tongue and paw pads. Heatstroke occurs when a dog is subjected to prolonged exposure in high temperatures or humidity to a point where the dog is unable to maintain normal body temperature. It can be fatal if not treated immediately. Early signs of heat exhaustion include rapid breathing, heavy panting, and increased salivation. Other signs are fatigue, muscle tremors, and staggered walking. As heatstroke progresses the dog may also exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, or collapse.

The best way to avoid heat exhaustion is to acclimate (expose your dog to hot weather over several days in a row) with exercise for shorter periods of time. If the dog shows signs of heat exhaustion carry him or her to a cool, shady place and apply water to the head, neck, and chest; then fan the dog vigorously with a blanket to speed evaporation. The evaporation process cools the blood. Do not apply ice as this constricts blood flow and does not effectively lower the dog?s core temperature. Give your dog water with ice cubes to cool the core. Get your dog to a veterinarian immediately for further treatment.

Heat acclimation is good for you and your dog. So do your dog and yourself a favor and get away from your phone, the car, e-mail, and all the other information overload mechanisms that demand our time every day. Get out and have some fun with your dog and enjoy all types of weather.

For more information on training and exercise with your dog go to http://www.sitk9sit.com

Jt Clough is owner and training director of K9 Coach http://www.SitK9Sit.com K9 Coach content copyright 2006. Article can be reprinted with link permission. K9 Coach trains People and Dogs in San Diego, CA with Personal Training Programs for Exercise, Relationship, & Holistic Health. K9 Coach Dog Store carries the best dog stuff on the web. Tested by Clough's Belgian Malinois, Weimaraner, and the growing number of very happy K9 Coach clients.



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