This Iowa summer has been a scorcher! From high temps and humidity and dry conditions, some of us, including our pups, are ready for a major cool down. In the meantime, it’s important for us pet parents to recognize and prevent the signs of heatstroke in our pups. 

Did you know heatstroke can happen in as little as 30 minutes and causes widespread thermal damage to all organs? Early signs of heatstroke include salivating, panting, bright red gums, vomiting, and increased heart rate. Later signs of heatstroke include bloody diarrhea/vomit, seizure, pale gums, dilated pupil, shock, and altered consciousness.

Luckily there are simple things you can do to keep your dog safe from this summer’s heat.

  1. Give Your Dog Frozen Treats: Dogs love to eat ice especially during the summer. A frozen nutritious treat will benefit your dog’s health while also cooling them down. Check out this link to check out some DIY frozen treats that you can make for your pup.
  1. Provide Your Dog Plenty of Shade: The shade protects your dog from the scorching sun of the summer and gives them a chance to rest.
  1. Never Leave Your Dog in the Car Alone: An estimated several hundred pets suffer from heatstroke in a parked car. Therefore, you should be cautious about where you go with your dog this summer and never leave them in a parked car! 
  1. Allow Your Dog To Play In Water: It may be summer but it is still important that your dog gets the exercise they need. Swimming is excellent exercise for dogs during the summer because it allows your pup to be active while staying cool. If there is no pool for your dog, try turning on a yard sprinkler and letting your dog run through it.
  1. Provide Your Dog With Plenty of Fresh Water: Since dogs are unable to sweat due to their merocrine glands, they rely heavily on water intake to cool themselves down. Be sure you provide fresh water for them at all times. We recommend placing water bowls for your dog throughout your home. When going on outside walks, be sure to bring an extra bottle of water specifically for your dog since hydration is just important to them as it is for us.

If you have any questions about keeping your pet safe from the summer heat, please don’t hesitate to call one of our five Animal Health Center locations to schedule an appointment. We’re here all year long from hot temps to below freezing temps to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy always!