How to handle high temperatures with your pet
These hot summer days give us not only us but also our four-legged friends.
That's why you come to the clinic more and more often with the question of how to help your pets in these heats. Therefore, we decided to prepare for you a small summary of how to protect your pet in these extremely hot days.
We humans have the advantage over animals that we have sweat glands spread all over our bodies. Therefore, we cool most sweating, while dogs have sweat glands only on the underside of the paws, but in the role of thermoregulation do not play a large role. Therefore, the excess heat is removed mainly by evaporation of saliva from the tongue surface.
Dogs (and other animals) should not be subjected in these hot days to increased stress such as running a bike, various dog sports, walking on hot asphalt or concrete especially in the most critical hours (from 11: 00-15: 00). Dogs in the garden should be allowed to stay in the shade and provide them with plenty of water. Often, such dogs dig a hole somewhere under our favorite bush and lie there all day.
Dogs walk only shortly during the day. Give them movement especially in the early morning hours, when the ground is a little colder and late in the evening, when it no longer absorbed heat. It may not seem, but a tiny dog walking on hot asphalt has a whole body just a few cm above the ground and it is for him to feel as if roasting on the grill ... If we have air conditioning at home, it is also necessary to use it moderately. It also makes the dog sick, as well as us. Above all, you must prevent the climate from blowing directly on your pet.
Overheating in an animal can be recognized by the following symptoms: rapid breathing (up to gasping), disorientation, apathy, increased salivation. It is appropriate to quickly place the animal in the shade, place it on a wet towel and slowly cool down, or take the animal quickly to the veterinarian. The latter chooses the appropriate infusion therapy to replenish the missing fluid as quickly as possible. At our clinic we have a dedicated section of the waiting room where you can be with the animal to be as stressed as possible.
You can help your dog with cooling by soaking his paws, chest, flank, belly, or head. In case of overheating, you can place a fan in front of the dog, open a freezer or at least a refrigerator in front of it to breathe cool air. Under no circumstances should it be poured in ice water! There is a sharp contraction of dilated vessels on the body surface, which help to dissipate excess heat. The heat is then accumulated in the core of the body and a collapse condition occurs if the mechanisms that expand the blood vessels again rapidly.
In specialized stores get to buy cooling pads, or vests for dogs that help cool the core of the body. heart, lungs. Many dog owners go to the water these days. Swimming is certainly a good way to cool down. However, it should be remembered that the dog also gets warm during swimming and therefore it is true that "everything is very harmful". Rather, it is better to "snap" in the pool, which you place somewhere in the shade in the garden. You can fill the bath with a little water into the bathtub, but it is necessary to keep them under supervision to prevent them from slipping or hurting in the bathtub.
It is also worth noting that the fur of animals is not only great, but also has a thermoregulatory function. It protects from cold in winter and from sunburn in summer. Dogs should therefore properly combed "winter coat" to be airy for summer and not retain heat. This will avoid possible scratches and overheating.
Of course, we must not forget other animals. Even cats can overheat. They also need to provide increased fluid intake, which is a problem for cats all year round and therefore we recommend feeding their juicy food or water to taste something.
Finally, it is worth noting that NEVER leave dogs, cats or other animals locked in a car parked! Even if you lower the window. The temperature in the car can rise to 70-80 ° C in a few minutes and you would cause a slow, painful and especially unnecessary death.