Know The Signs Of Overheating In Dogs, Keep Pets Safe In The Heat Of The Summer
June 17, 2016 (Austin, TX)– This time of year it gets too hot for pets to be out on the trail. Austin Pets Alive! wants Austinites to be aware of the dangers of exercising dogs in the heat.
In the coming weeks, Austin Pets Alive! will be posting signs along the Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake as a reminder for trail goers to keep dogs safe. It’s important for everyone to be aware of the signs of an overheating dog and know how to safely cool a dog that is suffering from heat exhaustion and potentially heat stroke.
“We see so many people that think their dog is tough enough to go jogging when it is hot outside,” said Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive!, “Sadly those dogs end up in life threatening trouble. We want people to know the signs and say something if they see a dog that is overheating or will overheat due to exercising at the wrong time of day.”
The number one sign to look for is if your dog is lagging behind on a walk or run. If your dog is lagging behind you, stop activity immediately, let the dog drink water and get wet or swim to speed the cooling off process. Help others by alerting someone if their dog shows signs of overheating and is lagging behind on the trail.
Other signs of overheating: bright red eyes or mouth, the dog’s tongue hanging way out of their mouth or the dog is hot to the touch. If a dog looks hot, decrease their activity and get them to a cooler spot immediately. Asphalt is too hot and can burn your dog’s paw pads, try walking dogs on grass instead.
All dogs are susceptible to heat stroke but those at higher risk include short nose dogs, overweight dogs, those with long fur, senior dogs and those with lung or breathing issues. Dogs are ten times more likely to suffer from heat exhaustion than people because dogs can only dissipate heat through their mouth, feet, and ears, unlike humans who sweat all over.
Dozens of dogs die of heatstroke every year. Use good judgement when walking or handling pets outdoors during the summer months and avoid walking dogs in the late afternoon and evening hours when temperatures are highest. Keep bottled water and alcohol wipes with you. Dogs need shade and water as much as possible. Do not leave any pets in cars for any amount of time unless the A/C is on, dogs will overheat in minutes.
Austin Pets Alive! is a 501(c) 3 (nonprofit) organization. Austin Pets Alive! is focused on helping the healthy and treatable pets at risk of euthanasia at city shelters. Our mission is to promote and provide the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals.