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Is Your Dog Overheated? Here Are The Signs You Should Watch Out For

And what you can do for your dogs when it happens.
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
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"Ang init." For days, I've been saying this to myself over and over again. And it gets real bad in the afternoon, so much so that it's difficult to focus on work. I can't even imagine what it's like for our dogs, though. We have six, very large German Shepherds. And while they do looove playing in our yard, they are almost always under the shade come noontime. After my family has lunch, we let them in so they can sleep in an airconditioned room until around 4:00 p.m. They play and have dinner before going back inside at 8:30 p.m. I can tell the heat is getting to them because once they're in the house, they barely move (only to acknowledge head scratches and belly rubs). 

Overheating or heat exhaustion is a super important issue to watch out for. During Royal Canin's "Bring My Pet To The Vet" (BMPV) webinar last May 7, Cosmopolitan got to ask Dr. James Tagnia of King's Road Veterinary Clinic for the signs of overheating pet owners need to know. The BMPV campaign sets to encourage pet owners to bring their pets to the vet as early and as regular as they can and to understand the importance of pet preventive healthcare and medicalization.

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Common signs of an overheated dog

"Common signs are drooling, or obviously, if they're panting heavily. If you take a look at the gums, they turn bright red. That means they're very dehydrated. They might also turn blue or purple, but hopefully not." When that happens, your dog's condition is already very serious. 

Outdoor dogs, like my bbs, need extra TLC because they are "very vulnerable to heat exhaustion." Dr. Tagnia said that "pango patients" or snub-nosed dogs deserve extra attention, too, because "anatomically, they just have a hard time breathing." (Btw, this applies to cats as well.) Dogs with double coats like huskies and chow chows, even the ones that are island born, should also be monitored "because their genetic makeup isn't suited for our weather."

So what can you do when you notice these signs? "First aid is to put an electric fan in front of them or immediately douse them with water—not iced water—to help them cool off."

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You can learn more about Royal Canin's Bring My Pet To The Vet campaign by downloading the Canin Club app! 

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