How Does Global Warming Affect Your Dog?
Summers can get very hot and brutal all across the globe. And, most people are unaware that with rising temperatures, animals are most affected. Heat in dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc. become common in this season.
According to records, the last 2-3 years have been the hottest of all times. Heatwave affects both, stray animals as well as domestic animals. Being said that, it’s just the beginning as the temperatures will rise more in the coming times!!
All across the globe, heatwaves are common in almost all regions, especially in the oceanic areas. The root cause of this rapid increase in temperatures is global warming, i.e. the UV rays entering the earth’s atmosphere and hence increasing the temperatures.
The animals are affected more than humans by the heatwaves. It is unbearable for animals to survive the high temperatures as their body don’t produce much sweat to keep them cool. Also, they’re at a high risk of heat strokes and dehydration which might even lead to deathly consequences.
Well, now let’s talk about our furry friends, dogs!
Dogs don’t sweat to cool down their bodies as humans do. Rather, they pant to reduce their body heat. Nowadays, people have started to pet dog breeds with a double coat (Such as Saint Bernard, Siberian Husky, Newfoundland, Chow Chow, Alaskan Malamute, Akita Inu, etc.) in hot regions. These breeds need extra care and attention if in hot weather. It’s really hard for these dogs to cool down their bodies if the fur once traps heat.
In the hot weather, it’s common for dogs to experience heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dehydration, or trapped body heat due to excessive physical activities. Let’s have a look at some common symptoms of heat stroke in dogs and some preventive ways as well.
Common Signs And Symptoms Of Heat In Dogs
Panting is how dogs reduce their body temperature as they don’t sweat as we humans do. If you observe your dog panting excessively (hyperventilation), it might be feeling hot. This is called heat exhaustion. It is more common in dogs like pugs. These breathing difficulties and excessive panting are usually due to their flat face. But, it can occur in any breed so far.
Dogs do suffer from dehydration in excessively hot temperatures. The top signs of dehydration are heavy panting, dry nose, sunken eyes, loss of appetite, dry-sticky gums, and vomiting. Keep an eye on your pets for any such symptoms during summers.
A thicker, stickier, and excessive drool than normal is what you should be alarmed about. This can be a sign of increased heat in dogs.
A dog’s nose is supposed to be cool and wet always. If you notice a hot and dry nose instead, there are chances that your dog has a fever. The normal body temperature for dogs is 101-102.5 Fahrenheit. If the temperature is above this limit, your pet requires immediate attention and needs to be taken to a vet.
If your dog’s gums are grey, blue, bright red, or purple, they might be dehydrated. If the color of gums seems different than normal, check in with a vet to avoid any underlying health problems. The normal color for a dog’s gums is powdery pink.
There are chances of increased heat in the body or dehydration if your pet is urinating less than usual.
An Increased Heartbeat
The easiest way to check a dog’s pulse is near the front elbow joint. Place your palm on your dog’s chest and check for their pulse. Also, there are chances of their body being hot if the heart rate is high and they might have a fever. You can check with a vet to know what the normal heart rate for your dog’s breed is. The heart rate for bigger dogs is slow and for smaller dogs is comparatively high.
If you notice your dog shivering or shaking even in hot temperatures, your dog might be experiencing muscle tremors. Heat exhaustion causes this condition.
Weakness Or Lethargy
Overheating in dogs can lead to longer naps, lethargy, or difficulty in walking around or standing properly. Look out for any such sign in your dog, especially in hot weather.
Diarrhea, vomiting, or blood in the stool are also some common signs or symptoms of heat in dogs.
Like humans, dogs too feel dizzy. Feeling lightheaded due to heat stroke or dehydration can lead to issues while walking. They might knock into the furniture or objects kept around in the house. It can therefore be noticed easily!
Well, these were some of the most common signs and symptoms of heat in dogs. But, there are many more symptoms as well. Just keep in mind to never ignore any strange behavioral or physical changes in your pet in hot summers. If your pet seems to be unwell, just take it to a vet as soon as possible.
How To Treat A Dog Suffering From Heat Stroke?
If you notice heat stroke in your dog, you need to do the measures mentioned below before taking them to a vet.
#Take your dog to a shaded area, preferably indoors or somewhere cooler.
#Pour cool water to lower their body temperature. Avoid using cold or chilly water to prevent shock for the body as this can be harmful. For small dog breeds and puppies, prefer using lukewarm water.
#You can pour cool water on their paws and massage their ears with cool water to reduce fever. Continue this process until the temperature reduces to normal and their breathing starts settling down.
#Give them small amounts of cool water to drink in small intervals and not all at once.
#Avoid pouring water on the dog’s head, especially if it’s unconscious as it might lead to drowning.
#Avoid putting a wet towel on your dog as it will trap more heat. Rather, put it under the dog if you need to.
#Last, just run to a vet once the dog’s body temperature gets to normal. It is important to avoid the risk of shock, kidney failure, dehydration, or any other heat exhaustion issues.
#If your dog gets unconscious, take them to a vet right away to avoid any mishappening.
Wrapping it up, to enjoy summers with your pet just pay attention to their behavior and care for them in the right manner. If you still have more queries, it is best to consult your local vet for details.
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