Avoid Dog Overheating in South Florida!

The Travelling Canine
Animals and the hot South Florida heat don't go together when said pet is not being given proper airflow via an air conditioner or open window. You may have heard horror stories of pet owners leaving their pets in the back seat of their car in 110 degree summer heat, while they go in to a store "real quick" and end up staying in there for an hour or longer. It may sound just fine to go in to a store real quick, but we are humans and mistakes tend to be made, so losing track of time is not unusual when you go into a store or appointment. The fact is that leaving your pet in the car during a South Florida summer without an air conditioner on can be detrimental to your pet's health and should be avoided at all costs. It does not matter if it is for any extended period of time. The rule applies to both large and small dog owners during hot weather months. In cold weather, this is not as much of an issue. Cold weather means that there is no chance of a dog overheating when left in a car. Dehydration in dogs is just as important, however, and should be considered no matter the weather.

The Sure Signs of Dehydration in Pets
If your four legged friend loses loses more liquids than it has taken in, this will inevitably lead to dehydration in dogs and will end up with certain heat exhaustion symptoms. The same principle applies to all animals and all life, really. What happens when a plant losing most of its moisture? It dries up. When humans lose the majority of the liquids in their body, they too become dehydrated. Think of our canine companions in the same manner that you would a human being, only with a body full of fur attached. All canines, both the average small dog and any larger pups, require a clean water source to drink from when left in a hotter area. If left outside, pups will need to have an area with shade where they can keep cool. You'll notice that dogs will often go out of their way to lounge in the shade present in a backyard on a hot summer day. Animals innately know where they should be in order to keep themselves cooled down.

Certain signs that your pet may be experiencing dehydration include strange behaviors that they might be exhibiting. Be on the lookout for a personality change in your pet. If your pup is pacing a whole lot and acting strangely, walking around and potentially whining, then they may be looking for a water source. If they have their tongue out and are panting or are licking their lips repeatedly, this may mean that they are parched. Upon seeing these initial signs, the best course of action is to seek out a bowl of water for them to drink from and to fill it with clean water. Then, take the bowl to your pet and place it in front of them. Test to see if they want the water. If they're thirsty, they will immediately start drinking from the bowl or saucer. If they already have a water bowl handy, thirsty dogs will generally rest their noses against the bowl to signify their want.

Check For Physical Symptoms
You may have seen a veterinarian try this method, but you can do it too. A canine's scruff is a sure-tell sign of the state of the animal's skin elasticity. Skin elasticity is lessened when there is less water in the skin. Scruff is the loose skin found over a canine's shoulders and at the back of its neck. Simply bunch up and elevate the scruff without pinching or squeezing too tightly. Let go of the scruff after elevating and see if the skin is elastic or not. If the scruff bounces back immediately, then there is no dehydration threat. Should the scruff take more time to fall back into place, then it is a sign of dehydration. Overheating symptoms like dry gums are not to be overlooked. Be sure to check the body heat of a dog. Body heat will skyrocket and is a sure dog overheating sign.

Heat Exhaustion vs Heat Stroke
What is the difference between heat exhaustion vs heat stroke? During hot weather months, you will unfortunately see both when an animal of any sort is overheating. A cat overheating will happen just as commonly as a canine overheating. Signs of heat exhaustion and overheating symptoms are similar enough that it is difficult to tell either apart. Heat exhaustion in dogs and cat overheating will manifest in the following early signs:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Heart rate increase

  • Restlessness

  • Panting and excess salivation

Pet Express Animal Hospital will be able to figure out exactly what is wrong with your pet. They specialize in helping animals dealing with all health issues and can help determine heat exhaustion in dogs and overheating in other animals. If you have any questions about signs of dehydration in dogs, Pet Express Animal Hospital will be able to determine all of the sure signs of dehydration in dogs and signs of heat exhaustion in other pets. Heat exhaustion symptoms sometimes require an expert opinion, which is where Pet Express comes in. Contact the hospital to set up an appointment if you feel that your pet is exhibiting heat exhaustion symptoms.