During the dog days of summer, high temperatures and humidity levels can be uncomfortable for people—and dangerous for your pet. Dogs have a higher average body temperature than humans and cannot tolerate the heat as well as we can. It’s important to never keep your dog confined in a car (even with the windows open) during warm weather, or outside without access to shade. Pets left in excessive heat may develop a serious, life-threatening condition called heatstroke, or hyperthermia. The most common signs are restlessness or agitation with vigorous panting. You may also see diarrhea, vomiting, and blue or bright-red gums.
If you see these signs immediately move your pet to a cooler location (in front of a fan, if available) and bring him to the veterinarian. On the way, you can place cool (not cold) water on his stomach. Note: Never use ice-cold water or put your pet in an ice bath. A drastic change in temperature can be very dangerous.
Your veterinarian may need to administer intravenous fluids and/or sedatives to help your dog recover and may need to run tests to determine if heatstroke has cause damage to internal organs.
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