During this brutal summer heat wave, Constable Ted Heap reminds pet owners that dogs are susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke as well. If you own a dog, you are required by law to provide it with ample water, food and shelter from the sun.
Calls for service involving dogs left out in the heat are running three to four times their normal levels under the ongoing heat advisory. If you have a dog, consider bringing it inside during the hottest parts of the day. Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available at all times. If you're going to take your dog for a walk, do it early in the morning or late in the evening.
Dogs lose fluids through panting, urinating and even through evaporation. If you see any of the following symptoms, your dog may be dehydrated:
• Dry gums and nose
• Thick saliva
• Sunken eyes
• Loss of skin elasticity
Prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures can result in heatstroke, a potentially fatal condition. These are the signs of heatstroke:
• Heavy panting
• Rapid breathing
• Excessive drooling
• Bright red gums and tongue
• Difficulty maintaining balance
• White or blue gums
• Lethargy, unwillingness to move
• Uncontrollable urination or defecation
• Labored, noisy breathing
If your dog begins to exhibit signs of heatstroke, you should try immediately to cool him down. Cooling methods include getting him into the shade, spraying him with cool or tepid water, and fanning him. Severely affected dogs require fluids, medication, support, and oxygen.
Check your dog’s temperature regularly during this process. Once it’s stabilized at between 100-to-102 degrees, you can stop the cool-down process. If you can’t get the dog cooled down, and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to a veterinarian immediately.
The best treatment for heatstroke is prevention. Limit the time your dog exercises in hot weather. Choose cooler periods of the day for training and exercise sessions. Provide plenty of cool, fresh water, shade, and frequent rest periods when your dog is outside in this summer heat. #constabletedheap #yourconstable
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