As the weather gets warmer, your dog is more at risk for weather-related illnesses. Heatstroke and dehydration are common summertime problems that affect dogs everywhere. There are measures you can take to keep your dog cool on those hot days. You should also be able to identify a heatstroke and handle the situation.

Some dogs are more at risk for suffering from a heatstroke than others; although no pet is completely safe. Older pets, overweight pets, pets that have had a heatstroke in the past, and pets kept outdoors are prone to heatstroke. There are a number of measures you can take to ensure that your pooch doesn’t suffer.

First, never leave a pet unattended in a car. Many people think that it’s okay as long as it’s only a few minutes. Unfortunately, even with the windows down, the inside of a car can rise upward of 110 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes.

Play close attention to pets left outdoors. An outside dog should always have access to plenty of water and shade. Keep in mind that the sun doesn’t stay in one place all day, so a particular shaded area make only work for a little while. Water is essential for a dog left outside. Dogs that are chained run the risk of knocking over their water bowls. If your dog must be chained, then try to purchase a bowl that is bottom heavy (instead of top heavy); it will be harder to knock over. Also, place more than one bowl of water for your pooch. If he knocks one over or runs out of water, then he has a second option. At many pet stores you can find freezable water bowls. Your pet will love the cool water on a hot summer day!

If possible, consider letting your pet relax by the air conditioning during the hottest part of the day. Water games, such as a kiddy pool, can also keep your pet cool; but, he should never be left unsupervised around water.

Never exercise in the hottest part of the day. Yes, you and your pet love your daily walks, but there is no reason to go when your pet is at a higher risk for suffering a heatstroke. Move your afternoon walks to early morning or evening. Consider getting your dog a cooling bandana. Wrapped around your pooch’s neck, these bandanas provide relief from the heat as the water evaporates.

Keep your pet groomed. Your dog doesn’t have to see the stylist once a week, but you should brush him multiple times a week. Matted and tangled fur can trap heat, making your pooch even more miserable. Brushing your dog throughout the week can also take the place of bathing!

Some dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke than others. If you have done all you can for your dog, the next step is watching for signs and symptoms of a heatstroke. Common symptoms of the ailment include discolored gums (paler than usual), excessive panting, disorientation, thick saliva, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you suspect your dog has suffered a heatstroke, then call your veterinarian right away. Get a bowl of cool water for your dog, because you need to drop his body temperature. Never use cold water to treat a heatstroke, because it will constrict the dog’s blood vessels, making him even hotter. First, pour the water around his neck and over his paws. Then, pour the water over the rest of his body. Allow him to drink a little water if he wants. Even if the water seems to make him feel better, he still needs to go to the veterinarian immediately. Sometimes, heatstroke can severely damage your pet’s internal organs.

Heatstroke is a serious problem. Older pets, overweight pets, and pets that are left outside are more likely to suffer from a heatstroke than indoor animals. There are precautions you can take during those hot summer months. Never leave your dog inside a car for any period of time, make sure your pet always have access to plenty of water, keep your pet’s fur free of mats and tangles, and move your daily exercise to the cooler parts of the day. If your pooch is exhibiting the signs of a heatstroke, then drop his body temperature with cool water and take him to the veterinarian immediately. Dogs love being outdoors; but leaving them outdoors requires greater care and attention on your part.

Author's Bio: 

Article written by Shelly Seigler. Find Elite pet products at low prices with Discount Pet Mall. Shop Uniquely for dog training collars, dog tracking collars, & electric dog fences