Protect your pets in the Summer heat with these tips

Summer temperatures not only can create human stress and health issues but also affect our fur babies.

If it’s too warm for you, veterinarians say it’s probably too warm for your dogs. Dogs can be susceptible to heat illnesses while taking them on a walk in the summer months.

Dr. Marianne Kirkendall, a veterinarian at Dubuque Animal Hospital Colonial Terrace says heat stress is one of the most common health threats faced by dogs in the summer. She says it appears in symptoms such as heavy panting, hoarse panting, stumbling or vomiting.

Panting is one of the only ways dogs can sweat in the heat, so Dr. Kirkendall says it is harder in the summer.

“If your dog may be succumbing to heat stress to contact your vet as soon as possible. You’re going to be tempted to do things like put them in a cold tub of water or something like that, but that can be really dangerous and make matters worse so its best to just contact your vet as soon as possible get them in.”

You’ll be tempted to put them in a cold water tub or something like that, but that could be dangerous and make things worse. She says that certain breeds are more likely to have heat stress because their air quality can make it more difficult for them to pant if this occurs contact a vet as soon as possible.

“We see the biggest risks with dogs with squished face breeds” bulldogs and bulldog mixes, and pugs are a few more susceptible.

Dr. Kirkendall tells your veterinarian immediately if you believe your dog is under heat stress. You can help cool your dog in the meantime, she said, there are a few things:

  • Promote sweat on their feet by applying rubbing water or alcohol
  • Put them in front of a fan
  • Take them into a room that has A/C or keep them in a shaded area

The vet says that summer walks put dogs at risk of their feet burning. She proposes to keep the paws of your pet as far away as possible from the scorching pavement.

A good way to test if the ground is too hot for your dog’s paws is to put your back of your hand on the ground.

She says another common Summer danger does not have to do with the heat at all. She says that your pets could be startled by more fireworks or lightning during the summer months. She says many dogs are going to run out when they get spooked by fireworks that scare them.

If your dog is anxious about fireworks, you can try to calm them down by drowning the sound from a TV or a radio. Dr. Kirkendall says your veterinarian can recommend anti-anxiety medicines.

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