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The Importance of Keeping Dogs Cool in the Summer

We enjoy being cool and comfortable. Why would we not assume the same is true for our dogs? The fact is, dogs can suffer from all sorts of undesirable, and lethal, effects from exposure to high temperatures.

Some common side effects of heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion may occur in a dog who is exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time. According to the American Kennel Club (“AKC”), “Heat-related canine conditions can also become life-threatening without immediate treatment. Overheated dogs can suffer heat exhaustion, heat stroke or sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias.” In addition, it is important to note that short-snouted breeds (i.e.: French Bulldogs, Boxers, pugs) are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion.

Signs of heat exhaustion may include the following:

Excessive panting
Disorientation
Collapsing
Convulsing
Bright red or blue gums
Vomiting
Diarrhea

To help ensure that you keep your dog safe from overheating, make sure your dog has plenty of shade and access to water when your dog is outside in warmer temperatures. Small kid pools are also great for helping water-loving dogs beat the heat, as they can submerge themselves in the water to cool down. Further, do not leave your dog outside in the heat for prolonged periods of time. If you need to leave your house for a while, crate your dog in your home so he or she can benefit from cooler temperatures.

NOTE: Though many of us enjoy taking our dogs for a “joy ride” with us on errands around town, it is best to leave your dog at home during warmer days if your errand-running involves leaving your canine companion in the car without the AC running.