We don’t how many of our canine friends die each year because they are left in a hot car.
That’s because no one is keeping count. There’s no official statistic on how many dogs die because their owners leave them inside a sweltering car. But veterinarians are well aware that this is an accident waiting to happen, especially for certain breeds, such as English bulldogs. This breed has difficulty with respiration even under the best of circumstances.
Elderly dogs are also at higher risk of overheating when the temperature climbs. So are dogs with certain preexisting conditions, such as heart disease.
But being in warm cars for too long is also dangerous and potentially deadly for a healthy dog as well.
Dogs Overheating Easily
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Inside of a car, temperatures can climb rapidly. By the time your pet is showing symptoms of distress, which may include panting that’s heavier than usual, it could be too late to save him.
If you suspect heat stroke, or overheating, this is a medical emergency and you need to call your vet immediately. Put cool towels on your dog while you’re driving him to the vet. I can’t stress enough the seriousness of the situation. But the best thing to do is to never leave your dog in a car on a hot day, even briefly.
Heat Stroke Prevention in Dogs
Other activities that could put your dog at risk in the heat include over exertion in the heat. Make sure not to take your dog on long vigorous walks when it’s hot outside. Cut the walk short if you notice signs overheating, such as panting.
Be careful at the beach. Many dogs love being at the beach. But make sure he spends enough time in the water or in the shade on a hot day.
Automatic Dog Water Dispenser
Also, always make sure your dog has clean fresh water to drink. This is important any time of the year. But it’s especially so during the summer. There are special gravity powered pet water dispensers that are good for people who work out of the house.
These dispensers ensure that your dog has a fresh supply of clean filtered water all the time. They filter out chlorine, which is present in many public water supplies.
Holistic health experts (in general) believed that chlorine is a toxin and we shouldn’t drink it. Our dog is now 16. During his long and relatively healthy life (until very recently) we usually gave him fresh bottled spring water. Only rarely did he have tap water.
Heat Stroke in Dogs Prevention
Some breeds, along with frail, elderly dogs, need extra help in the heat, regardless of whether they’re spending time in a car. During the “dog days of summer,” you probably want to make sure your pup is in an air-conditioned environment.
If you can’t run the air conditioner when you’re at work, maybe think about putting your dog in the coolest part of the house. In our house it’s the basement. One year we went on vacation and had someone come in. It was beastly hot that week. (But not where we were, thankfully.) That was a few years ago. But if my memory serves me correctly, I’m pretty sure our dog spent that week in the basement.
Dog Cooling Bed
You might also want to think about investing in a special self-cooling mat for dogs. This is non-toxic and will recharge the coolness on its own. It doesn’t need water or electricity. It comes in a variety of sizes, including extra large.
Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs
Please remember that I’m not an animal health expert. Just a dog Mom who likes to keep her boy as healthy as possible. Remember that dogs do not sweat like humans do. So they’re prone to overheating.
Immediately call your vet if it’s hot, and you notice your dog acting unusual. Here are some of the signs of heat stroke in dogs, according to easily accessible information from trusted pet health sources. There may be more things to watch for. So pay attention to anything unusual. And seek immediate medical help if you see:
- Heavy panting
- Difficulty walking
- Unusual lethargy
- Excessive desire to drink water
- Being non responsive
- Change in tongue color from pink to dark red