How Hot is Too Hot?

Q

How hot is too hot?

A

As temperatures rise and we spend more time outside, it is important to remember that pets can overheat. Dogs and cats do not sweat to any appreciable degree. They mainly cool off by panting.  For this reason, they are prone to dehydration. Keep plenty of fresh water available to prevent both overheating and dehydration.

Some breeds are particularly prone to overheating. Both the English and French bulldogs have tracheas (windpipes) that are proportionally smaller than they should be. These breeds may overheat with even moderate exertion.  Do not over-exercise bulldogs in hot weather.

Some people believe that shaving a dog will keep it cooler. This is not true. Shaving decreases the amount of heat insulation a dog has and may predispose them to sunburn. If you feel you must shave them, shave only their bellies.

If your pet shows signs of lethargy, excessive panting, and inability to stand, it may be overheated. If a veterinarian is not available, cool it down immediately with cool water for a least 10 minutes.  NEVER leave your dog in a closed car for any length of time. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Hudson Veterinary Hospital at (330)650-2929.

Dr. Mark