In these hot summer months, just running after a ball can leave Sparky out of breath and very lethargic. Dog’s bodies are not very good at cooling down and getting overheated can become a serious problem during a hot summer. Being dehydrated and overheated can lead to more serious problems such as having a heatstroke and collapsing. Part of the reason may be because they wear their fur coats all year round, dogs with double thick furs will have a harder time cooling down. Dogs are only able to cool down their own bodies through the sweat glands in their paws and by panting. Dogs with shorter snouts (like pugs and english bulldogs) may have a higher risk of over heating because their respiratory system is not as sophisticated as other breeds. It’s especially important for dogs to drink a lot of water when temperatures are high because it keeps them from getting overheated and dehydrated. We’ve shared with you ways to help your dog cool down but here are ways to spot if a dog is already dehydrated.
Your dog may be dehydrated if their…
- Skin has a lack of elasticity: an easy test to see if a dog is dehydrated is to pull the skin on their neck and see how quickly it bounces back. If the skin is dry and slow to recover, your dog may be dehydrated.
- Gums are sticky or dry: when a dog hasn’t had enough water, his saliva becomes increasingly sticky and thick. This sticky saliva can build up on the sides of his mouth because your dog may have trouble swallowing it.
- Eyes are sunken
- Too little urination: without enough liquids in the body, your dog will not urinate as often.
- Demeanor is very lethargic
When a dog gets very dehydrated, it’s possible it can turn into a full on heatstroke. If your dog has quite a few of these symptoms, take him to a vet immediately. The vet will be able to help rehydrate your dog intravaneously (through an IV). Do not force your dog to drink water when he is dehydrated because if he is overheated or experiencing a heat stroke, it is possible he will choke on the water.
Symptoms of a Heatstroke in dogs:
- Rapid, heavy panting or hyperventilation
- Staring, glassy eyes
- Anxious expression and refusal to obey commands
- Fever accompanied by bright red mucous membranes on the eyes and gums
- Rapid heartbeat
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Weakness or collapse
Summertime can be so much fun with your four-legged friends but please make sure you take proper precautions to keep them hydrated as temperatures rise. Make sure to monitor your dog’s liquid intake and pay close attention to his body language. Also, if your dog loves being in the water, take part in outdoor play that allows him to swim and splash around. With the water keeping him nice and cool, you can have peace of mind and your little pup can have a crazy good time.
Going out of town this summer? Leave Sparky with one of our amazing DogVacay.com hosts! We can’t promise your dog margaritas by the beach but we can promise a vacay that your pup will be barking about for years to come.