Hot Diggity Dog: What You Need to Know About Heat Exhaustion

Dog Care, Edmonton, Helpful Tips

Heat Exhaustion – It’s Ruff!

Summer is not only about outdoor adventures with our fur babies but also hot temperatures. The truth is—we all get hot, even our dogs. But how do you know your pet is overheating, and why are our furbabies so sensitive to hot temperatures? 

Why are dogs more sensitive to heat than humans? 

Dogs generally have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature because they cannot sweat in the same way humans do. Although dogs have sweat glands that function similarly to humans, the only place where these glands work is in a pup’s paw pads (their fur is often too thick for sweat to evaporate)! This means a dog’s primary method of heat regulation is panting, which makes your pooch more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Here’s a helpful chart showing the risks associated with certain temperatures. 

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What exactly is heat exhaustion?

When a pup’s body temperature rises above a healthy level and they can no longer regulate their body heat, they are in a state of heat exhaustion. Mild cases of heat exhaustion can be easily treated at home and involve you helping your pup safely cool down. However, heat exhaustion can be serious. Let’s look at what you can do to prevent it. 

Preventing heat exhaustion: steps to take and signs to look for 

Summers can certainly be blazing in Edmonton, which can make dog walking and other outdoor pup activities more difficult to do safely. The most common signs of heat exhaustion in pups are: 

  • excessive panting 
  • excessive salivating 
  • vomiting/diarrhea 
  • confusion/dizziness/stupor
Buddy having a cool drink of water on a hot day                                         

Here are some steps you can take to prevent these symptoms in your dog:

  • keep your pup well hydrated during and after outdoor activities (extra tip: leaving your own water bottle out for your dog walker to use for your pup is a great way to avoid cross-contamination!)
  • try not to head outside or schedule dog walking services during peak hot times (usually 12 pm-4 pm in Edmonton)  
  • avoid over-exerting your pups by taking it easy during walks and jogs. Reducing the duration and intensity of your activities is the best way to keep your pups nice and cool! 
  • never leave your dog in a hot enclosed space or a car 
Doug really enjoys switching his jogging services to dog walks on hot summer days!

Cooling down your pup               

If your pup begins to show symptoms of heat exhaustion it’s best to help them cool off as soon as possible. For mild symptoms you can help your pup cool down by finding shade or heading home where it’s not as hot, giving your pup cool water or hosing them down, or putting them in front of a fan and covering them in cool towels. It’s best not to apply ice as a way to help your dog regulate their body heat as a pup can go into shock if they cool down too fast. If your dog’s signs are more severe they should be taken to a veterinary clinic. 

Summer services with Dog Jogs

At Dog Jogs we prioritize the safety and comfort of your pups and our joggers. All of our joggers are aware of how hot it can be dog walking in Edmonton and know the signs to look for and steps to take to prevent heat exhaustion. Whether it be taking more shade and water breaks while out walking or coming home early to play with your pup inside, you can trust that your dog walker is using best practices in pet care for your fur babies. Stay cool out there!