Summer is in full swing - Help your Canine Companion Beat the Heat
Here in Hong Kong, the sun is shining, the air is electric with summer energy, the Hong Kong sky fills with the most
glorious sunrises and sunsets and your best friend wants to go out and play the day away!
Unfortunately, your best buddy doesn't understand that the temperature is already in the '90s and rising, and will soon be in the 100's. That leaves you in charge of safeguarding your best friend's health in the summer heat.
Dogs cool themselves through mainly the surface of their tongues via panting as well as via the pads of their paws "They are not efficient in cooling themselves and should not exert themselves for as long as we do without some sort of cooling help, they should not be exerting themselves in temperatures at which we might."
Without a cool assist, a dog can begin to experience heat stress.
Symptoms Of Heat Stress
The initial signs of heat stress include heavy panting and a mouth that is more open than normal, almost as if the dog has a big grin. The dog's tongue protrudes much farther out of his mouth than usual, and the end of it has a bell-like shape.
If you notice these symptoms, get your pal indoors as soon as possible, and offer them some water. You can also drench the dog in cool water, cover him in wet towels, or get him to lay down on a cool surface.
The symptoms become undeniable when the dog's gums become bright pink, and her protruding, bell-shaped tongue develops rippled edges.
If your dog's symptoms have reached this stage, take the same actions described for the initial symptoms, and then also place an ice pack to your best friend's belly to provide additional cooling to protect vital organs.
"With a bit of precaution and common sense on your part, your best friend won't experience even the initial symptoms of heat stress"
As heat stress progresses, the dog's heart rate elevates, His gums become pale, and he has difficulty breathing. At this stage, the dog needs immediate veterinary care along with the cooling measures previously explained. Ice packs on your best buddies head and belly help protect his brain and vital organs.
Heat stress is most severe When the dog experiences vomiting, diarrhea or both, and has very labored breathing. At this point, the dog may even suffer convulsions and be on the verge of collapsing.
Sadly, a dog suffering from heat stress this severe may be near the point of no return. Nevertheless, cooling measures and care at an emergency clinic may give the dog a fighting chance.
How To Beat The Heat (Stress)
With a bit of precaution and common sense on your part, your best friend won't experience even the initial symptoms of heat stress.
"The First thing is to choose cooler times of the day to be out", Even if the temperature feels right for you it may not be for your friend. "Dogs are closer to the ground's reflected heat, and man-made services can be very hot!" This can result in burnt paws and diminished ability to cool themselves. In fact, in Hong Kong, this is so extreme that the sidewalks can start to melt, imagine how that could affect your dog's feet! Burning the soles of his feet is no fun, so be careful on those pavements and board-walks. Or buy him booties!
We also suggest using a cooling vest or simply putting a wet T-shirt on your four-legged pal. Another option is to get him all wet before heading outside. The cooling vest or wet t-shirt should be your companions only attire. No backpacks, doggie couture, etc. We advise unless it is a wet item.
Continuing on this damp note, We recommend playing in or near water that your dog can enter., and of course, always have water and a drinking bowl with you.
Your faithful friend may also welcome cold snacks. Make Pup-sicles by stuffing a fillable chew toy with canned dog food, yogurt, or pumpkin purée and freeze it! Alternatively, fill and freeze an ice cube tray with bone broth.
For some dogs, you may have to scale back outdoor exercise when it's hot. Pups younger and 17 weeks and seniors shouldn't be outside long, because their bodies simply can't deal with excess heat. Toy breeds and dogs with short legs are also at a higher risk for heatstroke, along with brachycephalic dogs with shorts noses and flat faces.
Even better still, head for the cool sea breezes or the mountains where your dog can run and jump to his heart's content. So many Hotels are now dog-friendly and welcome dogs, offering fantastic pet amenities so you and your little buddy can have loads of summer fun. So, if you want to have fun in the summer head for somewhere cooler! Your dog will thank you.
Finally, it goes without saying that you should NEVER leave your dog in the car alone. Even with the windows cracked open. Heat stress comes on very quickly and a dog can get distressed and in extreme cases could die. Leave your dog at home or in his nice cooled air-conditioned Hotel room!
By following these recommendations and using good sense, you and your canine companion can be totally chill all summer long!