The summer months are fast approaching us here in Tucson, but even now we must take care to keep our pets, especially canines, heat intolerance in check. Our canine friends have a much harder time cooling down than their human counterparts. Their sweat glands don’t quite work the same and are a bit smaller than ours. This makes it hard to get rid of some of that heat trapped inside their body. Their next best option, which is inefficient compared to full body sweat glands which cool the body as sweat evaporates, is to pant. A dog that is overheating will be excessively panting, their skin may be flush, and they will be hot to the touch. If you notice some of these symptoms while out in the heat with your pet it is best to cease activity, take shade, and get them some water. Even now if we are out and about with our pets it is unadvisable to leave your pet in the car. The lack of airflow and sunshine can easily make a cars ambient temperature raise well above what the outside temperature is.
Another thing you will want to keep in mind on your outings with Fido is the radiating heat from our sidewalks and asphalt. Your pet’s paws can take a lot but even the extreme heat reflected off of the ground can be highly uncomfortable. If you are wanting to get them out and active during the day it is best to go to a park where there is sure to be some grass and shade. If a park isn’t an option it may be worth it to wait until the sun has sunk low enough into the evening for lots of shade, your doggo will definitely thank you for it!!
On a hot sunny day, a car has an inside temperature that can reach upwards of 170℉. This is way too hot for our canines to be safe. Cement and Asphalt can exceed temperatures of 160℉ while blisters and burns will rapidly occur after 150℉. Our own skin is similar in the limits of temperature exposure that your pet can take. If your dog has a thin or white coat, you must keep in mind that they are still susceptible to sun burn on their skin just like we are. Pit Bulls and Boxers are good examples of dogs that would be effected. Usually burns are minor and left untreated so they heal up on their own.
If you are worried about overheating symptoms or sunburns feel free to give our veterinarians a call!