Hot summer days are upon us once again in Toronto! Days are long and hot and it is a great to spend time with the family dog…….however hot summer days and soaring temperatures can be very dangerous for your dog. It seems nearly every day we hear about a dog that has been left unattended in a hot, airless car and often with a tragic outcome.
Basically dogs are unable to sweat other than a little around their feet but not through their skin as people do. Their body temperature is largely regulated through panting. Playing or exercising in the heat can bring on a lethal case of heat stroke. Heat stroke is the condition that arises from extremely high body temperature (105 F or 40 degrees Celsius) Only about 50% of dogs can survive heat stroke and it causes weakness, collapse and/or coma.
Leaving your dog in the car with the windows closed is probably the most common cause of heat stroke. Even with the windows open a bit temperatures can reach 120F or 48 degrees in a very few minutes. I cannot stress enough NOT to leave your dog in the car during the summer months. EVER.
Other tips to avoid heat stroke are to change up your day a bit and try to excersize your dog in the early morning or late evening avoiding the mid day peak. Long haired or double coated dogs (huskys, shepherds) should be professionally groomed to thin or shorten the coat.
If you suspect heat stroke cover the dog in cold, wet towels, turn on the car air conditioner and get your pet to a veterinary hospital ASAP!
Keep your dog cool!