1. Get Out of The Heat and Humidity
Although this sounds obvious, owners need to get their overheating canine companion out of the sun, heat, and humidity. Immediately seek shaded, cool, and low humidity locations.
Well-ventilated spots are crucial, as in the process of getting rid of heat your dog will cause an increase in room temperature. Such is why it’s best to get indoors into air conditioned spaces having air circulation.
2. Apply Cool Cloths or Get in a Pool
To facilitate heat transfer out of the body, apply cool compresses to your dog’s skin. The dorsal (upper) and ventral (lower) body surfaces receive the most blood circulation and should be your primary targets for cool compresses instead of the limbs, tail, and ears.
Water temperature should be cool but not frigid, as very cold and ice water causes blood vessel constriction in the skin, further traps heat in the body, and contributes to hyperthermia (elevated core body temperature).
If a children’s or adult pool having cool water is available, then get your dog in for a highly-observed dip. Your pooch should be able to stand in the pool and not have to wade, as muscle contraction from swimming releases heat and further elevates body temperature. If no step nor ledge on which to stand exists, then you are responsible to provide support and keep your dog calm and still during the cooling process.
3. Take Your Dog’s Temperature and Get Your Dog to the Veterinarian
Hyperthermia becomes dangerous when body temperature rises above 104 F, as normal mechanisms of controlling temperature are overwhelmed and all body systems are adversely affected.
As 106 F is reached, heat stroke occurs and leads vomit, diarrhea, collapse, seizure activity, multiple organ damage, coma, and death.
Owners can assess where their canine companion is in the spectrum of hyperthermia by performing a rectal assessment the dog’s body temperature. Ideally, a flexible, digital thermometer found in many first aid kits should be used. If the temperature is 104 F, then the dog should immediately be taken to the veterinarian for assessment and urgent care.
Interested in learning more about heat-related health issues? Related Articles: Tips to Prevent Your Dog from Overheating