With summer coming, it is important to remember how dangerous the heat can be to our pets. Every year hundreds of pets died from heat stroke after being left in a vehicle on a warm day, even with the windows open. It only takes a few minutes for the interior of a car to heat up to dangerous temperatures (over 20°F in 10 minutes)
Dogs and cats don't have to be in a car to overheat. Lying outside in the direct sunlight with no shade and/or inadequate water can result in overheating; as can playing very hard without adequate rest breaks or available fresh water. Animals that become dehydrated may become disoriented/uncoordinated and may sustain injury as a result.
Brachycephalic dogs (dogs with short noses like Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, etc.) are predisposed to overheating as they don't have the same cooling mechanisms during air flow through the sinuses that dogs with longer noses have. They also have narrower airways which decreases air flow and the ability to cool themselves. Old dogs may have paralysis of their vocal folds which impedes airflow and reduces the ability to cool themselves.
So remember, take plenty of water with you when you are outside with your pet in the summer, stop and rest frequently, and make sure your pet is never left alone in the car on warm days.
Wilsonville Veterinary Clinic
9275 SW Barber St, Wilsonville, OR 97070