It is around close to 40 degrees Celsius in Bangalore and most places of India. All living beings including birds, and animals have a chance of suffering from heat stroke. Your best buddy the cute furry creatures have higher chance of suffering from a heat stroke. Especially if your dog is an imported breed like Saint Bernard or Siberian Husky then the chances of getting heat stroke is high. Before finding out how to cool down your dog in summer, follow some tips listed below to understand if your dog is really dehydrated or suffering from heat stroke.
How to tell if your dog dehydrated
- Notice if your dog is panting or drooling excessively abnormally as against to the other days. If the saliva is thick, and sticky then your dog is overheated and your dog could end up in a heat stroke. Immediately try to cool her down and if your remedies of cooling down are not working then reach your vet immediately. Excessive overheating in dogs can cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, coma, cardiac arrest or even death.
- Skin pull test – Check the elasticity of your dog’s skin. Do this simple test of pulling your dogs skin and releasing it around your dogs neck. If your dog’s skin goes back to normal then your dog is hydrated. If your dogs skin remains wrinkled then your dog is dehydrated. If your dogs skin takes very long to get back to normal then your dog is dehydrated severely. Take your dog to your vet and your vet might recommend him IV fluids.
- Gum test – Lift your dogs lip and press your fingers on your dogs gums till they turn white. Once your dogs gum turns white release your finger and notice how soon they turn back to pink. If your dogs gum is still white and takes time to get back to normal pink then your dog is overheating.
- If your dog shows signs of fatigue, dizziness, or seizure call your pet immediately. It is better to call you pet and then go to your vet immediately so that they can get the emergency in place.
- Thermometer test – Check your dogs rectal temperature. If it is above 104°F (40°C) then your dog is overheating and could be due to dehydration. Follow the remedies of cooling him down. Once your dogs temperature reaches 103°F (39.4°C), you can stop cooling him down.
How to cool down your dog in summer
Now, you have identified that your dog is dehydrated or is overheating. Do not wait and try one of these home remedy for overheated dog.
- Give your dog plenty of fresh water. Do not give water which has been exposed outside for quite long as this could have some bacteria which is harmful to your dog. Always make sure to have plenty of fresh water for your dog. Never try to pour water directly to your dogs mouth as the water could enter your dogs lungs directly and choke him to death. Also as a very important point “DO NOT GIVE ICE/COLD WATER TO YOUR DOG”. Ice water can cool down your dogs system quickly and put his system to shock.
- Remove your dog from the place where he is getting heated like outdoors. Try to get your dog to a cooler room which has got a fan or air conditioning. If you got a tub or pond nearby then let your dogs feet cool down.
- Cool your dog down by draping your dog in a wet towel. Wet towel absorbs heat quickly. You can even give him a bath in tap water. Do not use ice/cold water as it could shock your dogs system. You can also consider reading : how to give bath to a large dog.
How to prevent your dog from overheating
Now, for to avoid the danger of your dog getting overheated, you need to take some precautions
- Do not over exercise him. I always recommend exercising your dog, but not to an extent where the dog gets over exercised and gets over heated. You should always learn to understand your dogs symptoms if your dog is over heating. Dogs with short muzzles like bulldog, pugs, pekingese have a hard time to cool themselves soon as they cannot pant as much as dogs with larger muzzles. Avoid taking your dog out for a walk in this weather. Sometimes dogs will not know their limits and will push themselves for you and do not entertain that.
- If your dogs behavior is becoming destructive due to lack of exercise, then take your dog out for a walk or exercise him before the sun rises or after the sun sets in. If you still want to take your dog for a walk then first you make sure that you can walk barefoot on the road or concrete.
- You can get one of those cooling packs or accessories for dogs which are easily available in Amazon. Do not put ice/cold pack.
- If you have one of those hairy dogs like Pomeranian or retrievers, then trim your dogs hair or take your dog for a professional haircut. Do not cut it too short too as your dogs coat acts as a barrier to UV rays and acts as an insulation. Daily grooming of your dog also helps relaxes the dog.
- Prefer wet dog food against to dry dog food this summer. Do not give dry dog food as your dog will become more thirsty and if you still want to feed your dog on a dry dog food diet then do keep a bowl of fresh water next to your dog.
If nothing above really helps then do not wait and take your dog to the wet immediately and ask your vet on the diet and exercises to follow.