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How to Tell if Your Pet is Overheated

Post by: Kenzie on Jul 18th 2019

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How to Tell if Your Pet is Overheated

Heat is the most daunting threat your pet will face this summer. High temperatures may signify the perfect season for venturing outdoors, but dehydration and overheating can come on quickly, with potentially critical results. So before you go out to enjoy the summer sun, here are some ways to tell if your pet is overheated, and what you should do if you realize your dog is suffering from it, brought to you by our pet door installation experts.

What Causes Overheating?

All pets can overheat when exposed to high temperatures for too long. Some are more at risk than others (such as pets with thick or long coats, pets kept outside, obese pets, pets with medical or chronic health conditions, and older pets) but the absence of shade and water will eventually lead to overheating and dehydration with any kind of pet. The biggest fear of overheating is that it can lead to heatstroke, a more serious situation that takes place when your pet’s internal temperature gets too high for the body to handle. Once heatstroke arises, your pet can begin to die if help and treatment are not immediately sought out.

What Are the Signs?

  • Excessive and continuous panting/breathing, labored breathing.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Unusual and excessive drooling.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Change in gum or tongue color (bright or dark red).
  • Difficulty walking/standing, staggering gait, disorientation.
  • Lethargy.
  • High body temperature (any fever above 105° F is potentially life-threatening).
  • Sunken/glazed eyes.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Seizures/convulsions.

What Do You Do?

  • Move them to a cooler, shaded area. If possible, get them inside a building or car with air conditioning.
  • Help them lower their body temperature using cool–not too cold–water in any way you can. A bath, shower, pool, river, garden hose, or washcloth will help cool them down.
  • Offer them small sips of cool water to drink as well. Be careful with the amount and temperature–too much or too cold water may make them vomit, worsening their dehydration even further.
  • Get your pet to a vet as soon as possible. Even if they seem to have recovered, overheating can cause unseen internal injuries such as blood clots and organ damage that can only be discovered and treated by a vet.

How Can You Prevent Overheating?

  • Avoid walking, hiking, playing, and any exercise with your pet during the hottest parts of the day; wait for the temperature to cool before you go outside together.
  • Never leave your pet unattended inside the car without air conditioning.
  • Give them a more summer-appropriate haircut (avoid shaving them, though, as this can lead to them getting sunburned).
  • When you go outside, provide your pet with enough shade, water (hydration is especially important; make sure they drink at least every hour), and breaks to cool down.
  • Instead of going outside during hot hours, take advantage of your home's air conditioning and find ways to exercise and play around inside.
  • If you and your pet can't resist the outdoors, find activities that involve water, such as swimming or running around in the sprinklers.
  • Closely monitor your pet for symptoms of overheating, and take action if you suspect they are in danger.

Overheating is scary, but it’s easily preventable and can be dealt with if acted upon quickly enough. Knowing the signs of overheating and the necessary preventative and treatment steps will help you keep your pet healthy and cool this summer. Do you have any questions? Allow your pet easy access both inside and outside with a pet door, giving them the ability to come inside if they get too hot without waiting for you to let them back in. Contact Glass Pet Doors today to discuss installing the perfect pet door for sliding glass door for your pet.