The hot summer is already here, and with global warming, it seems like it is here to stay for a much longer period. The heat can reach up to 40 degrees, with over 85% humidity- an unbearable weather to most living beings. Us humans, we get to have some relief such as air conditioning, eating cold foods like ice creams and water melon, but our beloved dogs didn’t quite reach that technological point where they could artificially cool themselves.
Dogs have a strong cooling mechanism, which has been developed over thousands of evolutionary years. However, due to trends and immigration, which led to vast breeding of different breeds, that mechanism does not seem to surface. Therefore, it is up to us, their loyal humans, to provide the safe and comfort that we cancelled out throughout the years.
Dogs suffer from heat stroke due to these main reasons:
- Their natural panting system is not being rightly regulated since they are being kept in closed and warm environments for too long. Just few common examples: leaving the pet in a closed vehicle for more than few moments, locking the pet in a closed apartment without cracking a window, and so on…
- They dehydrate much faster since they do not drink enough water, leading to a large fluid loss, which is dangerous to any living creature. While going on a simple walk, something that happens at least three times a day, a small dog can dehydrate easily and fast.
How to prevent this?
To prevent this, simply, make sure you carry a water bottle with you, and a carry on bowl, for your dog to drink from. Also, don't over dress the dog, nor walk on the heated pavement. Try to be in the shade as much as possible.
These are not extreme cases of neglect or miss understanding of your dog's needs, but simply common reactions to ever changing life style and climate. In case of such events, where the dog is over heated, it is crucial to follow the next steps, to prevent further damage:
- Safe submersion of the animal in a clean and calm water source like a lake or a river bank. Make sure the water doesn’t go over the knees, to prevent drowning. If at home, a regular bath tub will suffice.
- Moderate the chilling process, so that the animal won't get too cold.
- Make sure the animal drinks enough cool water along the way.
- Once the dangerous overheating is under control, it is vital to rush to the vet to make sure no further damage has occurred. There are many after-shock manifestations (such as brain damage) that need to be diagnosed and treated on time.
To conclude, summer time is a fun time to hang out with your family and friends, pets included. It is important to keep the fun spontaneous and relaxed, to gain full effect, but also remember the dangers of the hot weather that can occur.