Are you nervous when you take your dog out for a walk? Most of us do it without even thinking anything about it. After all, our dog is typically waiting at the door and if we don’t take them for their daily walk, they won’t leave us alone until we do it. We typically even have the leash in a handy location because we know we are going to use it on a regular basis.
Taking your dog for a walk is a great time to be with them, to bond and to give them some needed exercise. It is also a dangerous time and we need to be aware of the possible dangers so we can avoid them. Quite simply, if it’s too hot to be outside for us, it’s too hot for our dog, especially since they are walking on the pavement. It seems like such a simple fact that many dog owners just don’t think about the consequences. It leads to many dogs dying yearly.
PETA compiles a report on annual dog deaths due to heatstroke or due to being left in a hot car. In 2018, 58 animals died in hot weather-related deaths.
This really brings things into perspective.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals came out last year with the story that will break your heart. It seems that they received a phone call about a dog who died from heat stroke. This was a healthy dog.
The family had taken their dog out for a walk, just as they do any other day. This day was going to stand out, however, because of the tragedy that ended it all.
“This morning we have been informed that yesterday a local dog died of heat stroke after being taken on a walk at 9am when the temperature was 21 degrees (Celsius),” RSPCA’s Altrincham branch wrote on their Facebook page.
That’s 70°F, which is not an unusually hot temperature.
The problem was, the temperatures had been at record highs all week long.
“The dog was 5 years old and otherwise fit and healthy,” the post continued.
“Despite lots of warnings about the heat we still see dogs being walked to the shops, on the school run, or as soon as owners get in from work. We do understand the crucial nature of walking your dog, however please bear in mind that walking in high temperatures can cause serious and irreversible damage, and in some cases death.”
The RSPCA sends out annual warnings and they want people to know the dangers. Dogs are not designed to handle extremely hot weather.
You might think that your dog is healthy and that may be true. It doesn’t mean, however, that they are not at risk for heatstroke. During summer days, you should watch for warning signals because any dog is at risk for a heatstroke in the heat.
Symptoms of overheating
Vomiting and bloody diarrhea
Bright or dark red tongue, gums
Elevated body temperature (104ºF and up)
Increased pulse and heartbeat
When your dog’s body temperature reaches 109°F, heatstroke is imminent. At that point, the cells in the pet’s body begin to die rapidly. It also doesn’t take long, because it can happen within a matter of minutes.
If you feel as if your dog is suffering from heatstroke, take immediate action:
The first thing you should do is to move your dog to a cooler area. Try to get them cooled down quickly.
Try to offer your dog small amounts of water to drink, not a large volume of water. That might cause your pet to vomit and you don’t want that to happen.
Take your dog’s temperature if possible.
When your dog seems more comfortable, call your veterinarian for next steps.
The doctor may want to evaluate your dog even if he seems fully recovered.
Watch this video for more:
H/T: Animal Bible