Dehydration and Heat Stroke
Dehydration and heat stroke are very real threats when the dog days of summer are upon us. Animals should always have fresh, clean water available, whether it’s summer or the dead of winter. Carry portable water bowls on walks and bring them on vacation or long car rides. Short-nosed dogs, like pugs, Japanese chins and bulldogs, darker-colored pets, animals that are overweight or ones that have thick coats (like Himalayan or Persian cats), are especially prone to heat stress. Watch out for these symptoms:
- Excess lethargy
- Decreased urination
- Dry gums
- Refusal to eat
- Sunken eyes
- Decreased skin elasticity (Gently pinch your pet’s skin near the shoulder up into the shape of a tent; if the skin is slow to snap back, your pet may be dehydrated.)
Don’t worry if your dog pants. “It’s how they cool themselves,” says Dr. Rozanski. “The hotter it is, the more they will pant.” Other ways to cool your pup? Fans, ice packs, frozen treats, ice cubes, kiddie pools and sprinklers. Your kids and dog will have a blast.
What should you do if you think your pet is dehydrated? “If they seem weak or off-balance, cool them with a hose or wet towels and get them to a veterinarian as quickly as possible,” recommends Ronzanski.
Find out about all of the other summer dangers you should look out for right here!