Hello, y’all. My name is Gary, and I’m an 11YO retired racing greyhound from Arkansas. Dr. Katie and her husband are my caretakers. I take my retirement very seriously and rarely run any more. Since I’m no longer used to exercise, my people are very careful not to let me overheat. And boy is it hot! My time outdoors is always supervised, and my people always call me back inside to the air conditioning once I start to get a little too hot. They always have fresh water available. Dr. Katie shared some tips with me to prevent overheating, and I will share them with you too.
- Pets should NEVER be left in unventilated, enclosed area (ie, a vehicle). On a hot day like today, the temperature in a car (even with a window slightly cracked) can rapidly soar to over 120 degrees F. That’s HOT!
- Strenuous or vigorous exercise should be avoided on a hot day – especially if your dog isn’t used to it.
- If your pet is an outdoor only pet, provide plenty of fresh water and a shady area.
Dr. Katie says some dogs are more sensitive to the heat than others – old dogs like me, dogs with a short nose (like bulldogs), animals with a long coat, animals with underlying health issues (hyperthyroidism, cancer, heart patients etc).
I asked Dr. Katie what happens when dogs overheat, and she told me they can have what’s called a heat stroke. When a heat stroke occurs, the core body temperature is so high organs can’t function. Signs of heat stroke include:
- Drooling/foaming at the mouth
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry, tacky gums
- Behavioral changes – whining, crying, agitation
- GI upset – vomiting, diarrhea
- Loss of coordination/tremors/seizures
If these signs are ignored, a dog can continue to weaken, go into a coma, or even die! Please take steps to prevent this in your furry companion. If you think your pet is suffering a heat stroke call Dr. Katie or Dr. Debbie at My Zoo Animal Hospital at once! Take it from this old greyhound, heat stroke is no joking matter!