Most people have daily routines, but what if I told you that one of your daily routines could be harmful or even deadly to your pet. At Urgent Pet Care, most of our heat stoke patients we see are brought on by exercise. We become accustom to taking our dogs with us on our daily walks or runs but in the summer this can be deadly to you dog. It takes our dogs 10 to 20 days to become partially acclimated to warm temperatures and can take up to 2 months to become fully acclimated to the temperature. Dogs should never be left in cars for any amount of time ( see our facebook page for Dr Yonker talk about cars and heat).
So how do you get your dogs energy out during these hot days? Walks early in the morning before 10 am or after the sun goes down is the best and should be kept short. If humidity is high along with high temperatures walks should be kept very short or not done at all. If your dog is older , overweight, heavy hair coat, or is a short nosed dog such as a pug, bulldogs or shih tzu just to name a few, going outside should be limited to potty breaks only. Playing inside games such as mental stimulation activities has been shown to be as good as a walk to burn energy. If your pet knows tricks, do a 30 minute show of their fantastic abilities (inside of course). If your pet doesn’t know tricks, this would be a good time to teach them. A Kong filled with treats can keep a dog entertained for a period of time especially if frozen.
Heat stroke symptoms include heavy panting, red gums, reluctance to move, or collapse. If any of these signs are present the dog should be immediately cooled with tepid water and seek veterinary care immediately.