Preventing Heat Stroke in Dogs
Heat stroke can be fatal. As with other illnesses, it is best to prevent a heat stroke.
Here are reminders and tips from Dr. Anthony Prado Basa, Dr. Cerdy Deloso, and Wikihow.
Please provide extra care for dogs most susceptible to heat stroke because they have a lower tolerance for increased heat. They are:
1. senior dogs
2. overweight dogs
3. dogs with a history of heart disease
4. dogs with a history of seizures
There are breeds of dogs who can not also tolerate increased heat:
1. pugs or bulldogs or dogs with shorter snouts have a hard time releasing or panting out body heat
2. Saint Bernards, Shih Tzus, Boxers, English and French bulldogs and pugs can not tolerate heat and should not be put in hot areas or places with a hot climate like the beach.
Tips to prevent heat stroke
1. Keep water available at all times.
2. Change the water every two hours. The water will get warm due to the hot weather and when your dog drinks warm, it will add heat to the body. We do not give water with ice as the dog tends to develop cough, especially senior dogs.
3. Keep dogs in cool places like areas near trees and plants. You can keep potted plants beside cages if you do not have a garden.
4. Keep you dog away from direct sunlight.
5. Bathe your dogs regularly. Dogs kept outside the house can be bathe twice a week. Big dogs are sometimes bathe three times a week, depending on the breed. Please ask your vet. Make sure to dry them well after bath with a towel.
6. Have your dogs groomed. During hot months, dogs with long and thick hair need trimming. The vet and the groomer know what kind of grooming is appropriate for the hot and cold months.
7. Wet the areas surrounding your dog like grass or cemented areas before it becomes very hot. For example, we wet the ground at 10 a.m. Why? Because if you wet the ground when it is very hot already, the water will evaporate and with it, the heat from the ground will go up and make the place hotter. Thus, wet the ground at 10 a.m., then again at 12 noon, then at 2 p.m. This will keep the place less hot for your dogs.
8. Never leave your dog inside the car during hot days. Temperature inside the car will increase faster and will likely kill your dog.
9. For dogs with short snouts and who can not tolerate hot weather like pugs, shih tzus, bulldogs, among others, please keep them in cool places and INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. If you can afford an aircon, please switch it on this during the very hot hours or from 12 noon to 3 p.m.
10. Our group, Save Animals of Love and Light (Save ALL), gives singkamas to rescued dogs at around 1 to 2 p.m. Humans and dogs retain the water from singkamas in the body longer than water.
11. Save ALL also gives cooling food or treats like a leaf or two of romaine lettuce (raw, the number of leaves depends on the size of the dog, carrots (do not cook, cut into sizes that your dog can won’t choke on, this depends on the kind and size of dog), and sweet potato or kamote (boiled), among others. Watermelon is good but make sure you remove all the seeds and give this fruit only after
a meal. This fruit is a very cooling fruit. On an empty stomach, you dog (like you) can develop gas or kabag.
12. Save ALL also gives natural food or wet canned food aside from dry dog food to hydrate the dogs. Some dogs do not drink too much water. Observe your dog. Natural food is boiled meat (lean and just a few slices) with vegetables like pumpkin (kalabasa), or carrots, or brocolli, or sweet potato. If you will buy canned dog food, please make sure it has no flavoring and coloring, and no salt or very low salt content. Please consult your vet on this if your dog has a special medical condition.
13. If you have a big basin or a sturdy plastic kiddie pool, allow your dog to soak in them. But please, do not leave them alone. And dry them well after.
14. Do not allow your dog to drink water or swim in water with algae. This is toxic to dogs.
15. Walk your dogs when it is already cold (late afternoon) or very early in the morning when it is not yet hot. Feel the ground or pavement. Is it hot? If it is hot for you, it is more hot for your dog.
16. Use an electric fan but do not place it directly at the dog or the cage. You just need to cool the place where your dog is located. Your dog might develop cough and colds.
17. If you plan to use a mist fan, again, it is not advisable to put it directly where the dog or cage is located. We point the fan away from the dog and at the areas around the dog to cool the place. The mist can cause phlegm buildup which is of course very bad for your dog.
18. Do feel your dog’s chest and tummy. Is it hot? If it is hot, put a bottle with cold water or ice and place in the armpit and chest until the body cools down.
19. Take the dog’s temperature. If 41c degrees up, please bring to a vet asap.
20. Observe your dog. If panting heavily or drooling, bring to a vet asap.
21. Talk to your vet about your dog’s overall physical health or condition. Please ask what you need to do, particularly if a dog has a special medical concern or condition.