Originally posted by Daniela Caribe on www.taildom.com
Try wearing a winter coat while jogging on a summer day, and you'll quickly find out how hot it feels to be your dog in the summer. Dogs are covered in fur, and they don't sweat, like humans do. They cool their bodies by panting, which is way less effective than sweating.
The hotter it is, the harder it gets for your dog to keep her temperature down to a comfortable level. On very hot days, dogs overheat and can become ill or even die.
How so? Heatstroke causes dehydration and blood thickening, which strains the heart and damages internal organs such as the liver, brain and intestines. Your dog's normal temperature is between 101°F and 102°F. Over 106°F, your dog's organs may start failing, and she could experience brain damage and may die.
As you can see, heatstroke would be a traumatic experience for you and your dog. It'd also be an emergency situation that can become unaffordable on the blink of an eye. A vet visit to an emergency hospital will easily cost you more than $100. Your dog will also need treatment and may even need to be hospitalized, depending on the severity of the dehydration, which could mean a vet bill of more than $1,000.
So prevention is key, and it's very easy.
If your dog is panting severely, has her eyes wide open and a red tongue, vomiting or acting weird, take her to the emergency room immediately. We'll talk about heatstroke symptoms and some ways to alleviate it in a future blog entry.
But remember — by preventing heatstroke with simple care, you will avoid a trauma, or even a tragedy. Your dog thanks you!