“A dog died after being taken for a walk in 77-degree heat on Friday” Don’t let this happen to your pet.
Heat wave temperatures are annoying to most people, but they are particularly dangerous to dogs. Hot weather can be dangerous to your dog’s health or even their life.
The most immediate danger is heatstroke. Dogs are at risk of illness or death from heat stroke for several reasons
- Their systems for cooling are less effective than humans.
- Their coat of fur can increase the effects of heat.
- The difference between their normal body temperature of 100 to 102 and the danger zone at 104 and above is small.
Heat stroke can be fatal to your dog within 15 minutes. The most obvious danger is leaving your dog in a car. Even with the windows open the temperature inside your car at 70 degrees outside can rise to 104 within 30 minutes. At 85 it only takes 10 minutes for your interior temperature to reach 104 degrees.
Each year hundreds of dogs left in cars die on what seems like a fairly cool day. Simply, don’t leave your dog in the car even with the window open, even in fairly cool weather.
Exercise on a hot day can have the same effect. Be sensitive to the effects of heat and exercise them early in the morning or later in the evening.
Humans are 55% to 60% water. Dogs are 80% water and are more likely to become dehydrated especially in hot weather. Your dog needs at least 1 ounce of water per pound each day. So a 20 pound dog needs 20 ounces of fresh, clean water. This need goes up as they exercise. Dehydration can have serious health consequences.
Dogs can burn their paws on days that don’t seem hot. At 77 degrees with little wind and low humidity asphalt can reach 125 degrees. At 87 degrees, the surface can be 143 degrees. Eggs fry at 131 and skin burns at 125 degrees.
Dogs are not immune to sunburn. Noses, ears and bellies are particularly vulnerable. Dogs with white fur are more likely to sunburn.
Some dogs are at greater risk:
- Puppies up to 6 months
- Large dogs over 7 years
- Small dogs over 14 years
- Overweight dogs
- Overexerted dogs
- Sick dogs
- Breeds with short, wide heads
- Keep your dog shaded,
- Keep water readily available,
- Provide intervals of rest and periods of exercise,
- Allow your at risk dog the opportunity to be outside safely,
- Protect your dog from sunburn and burned paws.