Here in North Carolina we are already hitting 70° and only getting warmer. This means more time outdoors for not only us but for our pups too! Making sure that you and your pup stay cool is of utmost importance. Before hitting it hard outside it is wise to make sure that your dog is acclimated to the weather; its never fun to do activities you didn't prepare for! Same goes for your dog. Heat stroke can happen quickly and can be life threatening. Dogs who are overweight, brachycephalic breeds, long coated breeds, young puppies and seniors, and those with medical conditions are at a higher risk for heat sickness. Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for;
Warm to touch
Red mucous membranes of mouth
Rapid heart rate
Lying down and refuse or be unable to rise
Blood from mouth or in stool
If you suspect that your dog is experiencing heat stroke please immediately end your activity and seek out shade in a well ventilated area. You can run cool (not cold) water over your dogs body, focusing on the inside of legs and belly, and if you can find a fan or a way to move air over them do so. This helps with evaporation, just like when we sweat. Some may recommend using rubbing alcohol on the pads of their feet, but this is up to you. Please call an emergency vet for further assistance on treating your pup!