Sudden weather changes aren’t easy on anyone, and as temperatures suddenly increase, dogs can be prone to stress, illnesses, or injuries like dehydration or heat stroke. Some dogs are more vulnerable than others, but you should always be on the lookout to avoid any unwanted consequences heat can leave on your beloved pet.
What Is Heat Stress in Dogs?
Dogs don’t sweat as humans do, instead, they cool down by panting and sweating only through their paw pads and nose where they release heat. In situations when they can’t cool themselves, their body temperature starts to rise leading to a condition called hyperthermia.
Hyperthermia is classified into three levels:
- Heat stroke
- Heat stress
- Heat exhaustion
The mildest form of heat stress is accompanied by panting and increased thirst. If your dog is left unattended at this point, its condition can progress to heat exhaustion and finally to heat stroke which can even cause death or serious consequences.
What Are the Signs of Heat Stress in Dogs?
If you notice your dog is increasingly thirsty and panting a lot, it may have been experiencing heat stress.
If things get out of hand, and you notice signs like:
- Change in gum color
- Dizziness and disorientation
- Increased heart rate
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Seizures or muscle tremors,
Your dog may be having a heat stroke and you must react immediately by taking it to the vet emergency.
How to React if You Notice Any Signs of Heat Stress?
If you believe your dog may be suffering from heat exhaustion, relocate it to a cool, shaded area, give it some fresh water, and allow it to rest.
If any of the mentioned symptoms appear, try to cool down their body, the best is with a garden hose or a bucket of water, but try not to spray it on their head and face. A fan blowing the air over their damp body will work even better, but never cover the dog with vet towels for example, as they can only trap the heat inside of their body.
Call the vet to make sure you are doing everything right and get professional advice on your dog’s condition and how to help them.
Sometimes, dogs’ reaction to weather changes or sudden heat is normal and doesn’t need to freak you out. If you notice that your dog is experiencing the usual signs of stress like becoming moody, panting, or having an upset stomach, you should react accordingly, but there is no need for a big concern.
For such situations look for dog probiotics Australia, and help your dog overcome that annoying condition and feel comfortable again. The best products on the market come from Petz Park, whether you are looking for probiotics, various supplements, or pet toys and treats.
How to Prevent Heat Stress in Dogs?
The best thing you can do to help your dog against experiencing stress with weather changes and sudden heat is prevention. First of all, be aware of how your dog reacts to such weather changes and sudden heat, especially if you own one with a thick fur coat, one of a flat-faced breed, or an elderly or obese dog.
Always provide access to fresh water to your dog, especially on hot days. Make sure your pet stays in a shaded and cool space, no matter if it spends time inside your home or outdoors. Avoid lots of physical activity on hot days, and maybe take walks only in the mornings and evenings.
One of the most fatal mistakes anyone can make is to leave a dog in a parked car. Even if temperatures don’t seem too high outside, in a sealed space of a car the temperature can rise and make your dog experience heat stroke.
If you happen to find yourself on the road or traveling with your dog during extreme heats, make sure you have some cooling products made for dogs, like cooling vests or mats that will help a lot in regulating their body heat and saving them from heat stress.
What if You Relocate to a New Climate?
Seasons usually change gradually, or at least we and our dogs get used to its changes, but when moving to another state, or maybe even continent, climate changes can be huge.
These changes can also affect your dog’s mood, especially if they belong to a more sensitive breed. Knowing your dog and being prepared for possible reactions can sometimes save them from serious health conditions and even death. Anytime you are in doubt about what your pup is going through, contact or visit your vet and make sure you are taking good care of your dog.