I always take my little morkie (Maltese Yorkie mix) out walking at the end of the day just before the sun sets.
If it’s too hot for me to be outside, it’s certainly too warm for him – the same with pavement walking.
Unfortunately, the risks of elevated temperatures are not known to all dog owners, leading in several tragic fatalities every year.
PETA gathers reports on how many pets who die each year due to heat stroke or because they have been left in a hot car.
According to the organization, 58 animals died in hot weather-related deaths in 2018.
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Last year, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) shared a heartbreaking story.
The RSPCA received a phone call about a dog who died from heatstroke tragically. The dog was healthy otherwise.
The family had taken their dog out for a routine walk, just like any other day, but this day would end in tragedy.
“This morning we have been informed that yesterday a local dog died of heat stroke after being taken on a walk at 9 am when the temperature was 21 degrees (Celsius),” RSPCA’s Altrincham branch wrote on their Facebook page.
In Fahrenheit, that is just 70 degrees — which does not seem that hot. But the temperatures that week had been at record highs.
“The dog was 5 years old and otherwise fit and healthy,” the post continued.
“Despite lots of warnings about the heat we still see dogs being walked to the shops, on the school run, or as soon as owners get in from work. We do understand the crucial nature of walking your dog, however, please bear in mind that walking in high temperatures can cause serious and irreversible damage, and in some cases death.”
Even if the RSPCA sends out warnings every year, it’s important to keep the message alive: Dogs are having a hard time handling high heat and humidity.
They aren’t made to handle that type of weather.
You might believe you’ve got a completely healthy puppy, but that puppy is at risk just like an older dog for heatstroke.
During hot summer days please watch out for warning signs like these below:
Heavy panting – Excessive thirst – Glazed eyes – Vomiting and bloody diarrhea – Bright or dark red tongue, gums -Staggering – Elevated body temperature (104ºF and up) – Weakness, collapse – Increased pulse and heartbeat -Seizures – Excessive drooling – Unconsciousness
If the body temperature of your dog is 109ºF or greater, the cause is heatstroke. What happens is that the pet’s cells quickly begin to die.