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How Hot is Too Hot?

We are slowly inching towards the peak summer months here in Michigan. Not only are we battling the heat and humidity, but so are our pets! In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to keep you pet cool in the summertime.

Facts About Dogs in the Summer

When it comes to our canine companions, their average body temperature is higher than humans (around 101F). Unlike humans, they do not sweat, but try to regulate their body temperature by panting. If the humidity is too high, a dog is unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels very quickly.

Breeds to Watch Out For

If you have a brachycephalic dog or cat breed, it is crucial that you keep an extra eye on them during the summer months, as they are more prone to overheating than other dogs. These dogs have short snouts, small nostrils, and narrow windpipes, making it difficult for them to expel heat by panting. Example brachycephalic breeds include:

  • French bulldogs

  • Bulldogs (American and English)

  • Boxers

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

  • Shih Tzus

  • Pugs

  • Persians

  • Himalayans

  • Burmese

  • British Shorthair

  • Exotic Shorthair

Click here for a full list of brachycephalic dogs

Other at risk dogs and cats include those with obesity, heart disease, respiratory issues, and kidney disease, as well as puppies/kittens and senior dogs/cats.

Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a very serious, life threatening condition. Signs of heat stroke in dogs and cats include:

  • Panting which increases as heatstroke progresses

  • Drooling, salivating

  • Agitation, restlessness

  • Very red or pale gums

  • Bright red tongue

  • Increased heart rate

  • Breathing distress

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea (possibly with blood)

  • Signs of mental confusion, delirium

  • Dizziness, staggering

  • Lethargy, weakness

  • Muscle tremors

  • Seizures

  • Collapsing and lying down

  • Little to no urine production

  • Coma

If you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, please call Northside as soon as possible. It is important that you do not give your pet ice water, as this can shock their system.

Other Hot Tips

  1. Never Leave your Pet in a Hot Vehicle: the inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees even with the windows cracked

  2. Limit Exercise on Hot Days: Try and take your daily walks early in the morning and late at night to avoid the high heat of the day.

  3. Walk Your Pet on Grass: avoid asphalt and concrete if possible to avoid burning your pet’s paws

  4. Make Sure They Have Access to Shade and Water

We hope that you and your pet enjoy the summertime!



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