Summer Tips for a happy and healthy dog!

Recognizing and Preventing heat exhaustion

Dogs aren’t capable of sweating like humans, they do have a few sweat glands in their paws, not enough
to regulate their temperature though. Dogs pant (open-mouthed breathing) to regulate their body
temperature however during the hotter and humid months this doesn’t prevent your dog from heat
All dogs are susceptible to heat exhaustion, some more than others, such as:

o Young or older dogs
o Overweight/obese dogs
o Dogs with Brachycephalic syndrome – flat faced breeds, Bull Dogs, Pugs, Shih Zhu and
o Dogs with thick coats or long-haired coats – for the dogs that have an undercoat
consider a grooming.
o Extremely active dogs, working or hunting breeds – Shepherds, Retrievers and Spaniels

According to PetMD, ( heat exhaustion occurs when body
temperature is elevated, “103 degrees Fahrenheit and higher are above normal”.
Just those couple of facts indicate that a dog can overheat very quickly, and it is not so easy for them to
release the heat from their bodies, that’s where we come in to help keep them safe!
Signs of Heat Exhaustion

o Difficulty breathing/excessive panting
o Less responsive, lethargic, sunken eyes, dry noses
o Glazed eyes, excessive drooling, increased heart rate – Immediate Veterinary Care
o A collapsed dog/convulsions/vomiting or diarrhea – Immediate Veterinary Care
o Very little or no urination – Immediate Veterinary Care

Tip: always have your primary veterinarian information on posted where accessible and locate the
closet 24-hour emergency veterinarian practice near you.
What to do if your dog displays these and or other abnormal signs

o Remove the dog from the heat/sun – preferably get the dog in a cool
environment/shaded area
o Give fresh water – lukewarm – cold or freezing water can be dangerous. Do not give
large amounts of water a time, a little bit at a time, drinking too fast and too much at
once may cause bloat.
o Use a cool towel to wipe the neck, armpits and between hind legs. Gently wet his ears
and paw pads with cool water.

o Rectal thermometer to check the dog’s temperature “heat exhaustion occurs when a
dog’s temperature falls between 103- and 106-degrees Fahrenheit
o Contact your vet – if the symptoms worsen or if the dog becomes unconscious
Please do not ever leave your dog in a car, even with the windows down temperature of 70 degrees
Fahrenheit outside your car can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in minutes.


Let’s talk about your dogs Paw Pads, what are they, what they do and how we need to protect
them during the summer/warmer months.
Paw pads “consist of a layer of pigmented skin”. They can be pink or black and they cover fatty
tissue. Fat is an insulation which helps your dog protect their paw pads during the winter/cold
months/cold surfaces however hot pavement/asphalt can and will burn your dog’s paw pads.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much within your dog’s ability that can protect their paw pads from
the heat.
When is it too hot for your dog’s paw pads?
Published by Four Paws International, Hot Asphalt – A Danger to your Dog’s Paws

Air Temperature Asphalt Temperature
77 degrees F 125 degrees F
87 degrees F 143 degrees F
95 degrees F 149 degrees F

Think about us humans walking on the beach on the hot sand, and you start running because
your feet are burning, this is what your dog’s feel like on hot pavement.
The first couple of signs

 your dog may yelp when stepping on the payment/ground/wooden decks also all
surfaces, if they are too hot your dog will react.
 The dog may immediately lay down or start lifting 1 leg up at a time, as we would
when running through the hot sand.

Symptoms of Burns:

 Paw Pads are red/swollen – 1 st degree burn
 Clear blisters – 2 nd degree burn
 Skin is charred – 3 rd degree burn

First Aid:
 Run the paw under water, NOT ICED COLD water, room temperature water
 Bandage the paw(s) – if you don’t have medical bandages handy, put a sock on the paw
 **do not use ICE – used incorrectly can cause tissue damage.
 Seek veterinary assistance
How to test the surface prior:
 10 second test – palm of hand on the surface, if you can’t hold your hand for 10
seconds, then the dog can’t walk on the surface
 7 second test – back of your hand on the surface, if you can’t hold your hand for 7
seconds, then the dog can’t walk on the surface

Walk your dog on the grass to avoid hot surfaces
Walk your dog during the early mornings before the sun have direct contact on the ground or
later in the evenings, when the sun is setting.
**Four Paws International, Preventative Vet/how to properly care for your dog’s paw