Protect Your Pets from the Heat by “The DogMan”
By Kamp Cook

Posted: June 26, 2021

This next week is going to be extremely hot for Montana, especially for this time of year. When it comes to Montana, heat-related deaths for pets and humans probably would be the last thing you think about. Surprisingly, Montana ranks 29th out of the 50 states for heatstroke.

Depending on where you are in Montana you will likely experience temperatures of close to 100 and above. We are supposed to be 102 here in Missoula Tuesday and Wednesday. If you have to leave your dog outside make sure they have shade and freshwater available at all times. Older dogs or pets that have underlying health problems or are overweight really should not be out in the heat for extended periods.

Avoid leaving a pet (or child) in the car in this heat for even a few minutes. The interior temperature of a car in the sun at 65 degrees can reach over 105 within an hour and the majority of the heating takes place in the first 20 minutes. That is 65 degrees, at 100 the interior of a car can reach 125 plus in just a few minutes. And leaving the window of the car partially open does not provide any real help.

If you are a jogger or take your dog for a run, try to do it in the morning when it’s cooler. Be aware of the signs of heatstroke in your dogs.

Excessive, rapid breathing or panting
Bright pink gums
Becoming lethargic
Rapid heartbeat

These are all signs of heatstroke in dogs. Dogs don’t have sweat glands as humans do, they do have some but they are mostly between the pads of their feet. Unlike humans, dogs regulate their body temperature through respiration, and in hot conditions, they can overheat quickly.
If your dog begins to show signs of heatstroke move the dog to a shaded and as cool an area as possible. Give your dog water, small amounts at a time. If possible pour cool water over the dog. Not cold water as it can cause shock. Continue to treat the pup until respiration becomes normal. If the dog begins to shiver, stop pouring any water over the dog. Once your pet recovers the best advice is to visit your local veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid long-term health issues.
Stay cool next week and watch the pets! – The dogman –