During the summer months in New England, temperatures can be lethal for humans as well as our pets.

While outside with your dog, please be mindful of the signs of heat exhaustion, which could lead to potentially fatal heat stroke.

Heat Exhaustion Signs in Dogs:
1. HEAVY PANTING: This is the first sign of heat exhaustion. Since dogs are incapable of sweating (except their paw pads), their only way to cool their internal temperature is through panting.
2. PAY CLOSER ATTENTION TO CERTAIN BREEDS: While ALL does can undergo heat exhaustion, certain breeds are more prone, such as those with heavy coats (e.g., Shelties or Chow Chows) and other breeds with short snouts making it difficult for them to breath (e.g., Boxers and Pugs).
3. WEAKNESS: During any activity in the heat, watch for weakness. This is a serious sign.
4. DISORIENTATION: You may notice that your dog is unaware of his or her surroundings.This is a serious sign.
5. VOMITING AND/OR DIARRHEA: This is a serious sign of heat exhaustion/heat stroke.
6. SEIZURES AND/OR COMA: This is a serious sign of heat exhaustion/heat stroke.

Treatment:

It is very important to spot the first 3 signs listed above early before a heat stroke occurs, as they are often times fatal. If you observe serious signs of heat exhaustion, seek help from a veterinarian immediately.

In the meantime, there are some things that can be done to cool down a dog displaying the signs above:
1. PROVIDE PLENTY OF COLD WATER
2. KEEP THE PET IN A COOL RESTING PLACE
3. PLACE A COOL WET TOWEL LOOSLY AROUND THE ANIMAL’S NECK
4. ICE PACKS MAY BE PLACED ON THE ANIMAL’S ARM PIT AREA OR NECK AREA

Prevention:
1. Avoid taking your dog out during the middle of the day where the day is at its hottest.
2. Walk dogs only in the morning and evening hours when the temperature is at its coolest.
3. Provide plenty of fresh cold water at all times
4. NEVER leave your pet outside, tied up, unattended, or in a vehicle.