Safe Temperature for Dogs: How to prevent overheating?

Did you know that dogs can easily overheat when left in the sun? Like humans, dogs are prone to overheating and physical illness when the temperature rises above the normal.

There are many factors that determine the dog’s body temperature. One of the major reasons for overheating is the hot weather. If dogs are let out for a long time, they’ll quickly overheat and start dehydrating.

Dogs only sweat through sweat glands in the pads of their feet and noses. Unlike humans who sweat throughout the body, dogs lessen their body heat by continuous panting which isn't super-efficient so they can quickly become overheated.

Let’s learn more about overheating in dogs and how to control their temperature.

How to keep them safe from Overheating?

Here is how you can avoid your dog from overheating.

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Many pet owners choose to leave their pets inside the car! This can be fatal! You shouldn’t leave them inside a car even for a minute! Many owners claim that they keep the air conditioner on or windows open but this doesn’t help either. On a warm day, the temperatures inside a car can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85F day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened can rise up to 102 F within 10 minutes.

It can easily lead to overheating and your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or even die. It’s better to keep them on a leash and tie them somewhere near under the shade.

Watch the humidity

Dr. Barry Kellog, VMD of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association claims that,

"It's important to remember that it's not just the ambient temperature, but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly."

Some easy ways to control humidity includes

  • Air conditioning
  • Fans
  • Replace Furnace / AC filters.
  • Take shorter or colder showers.

Limit exercise on hot days

Although your dog loves to play outside, you should consider limiting outdoor visits during summer. It’s better to avoid going out when the sun is up. Instead, you can switch the outdoor schedule to either early morning or in the evening. On a hot day the asphalt can get very hot that can burn your pet's sensitive paws. If you’re stepping outside during a hot day, consider carrying water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating. Use dog shoes and Vaseline to avoid heat burn.

If you often allow your do to exercise outside, you can consider bringing them in during summer.

Provide ample shade and water

Dogs often get dehydrated on a hot day. The lack of water consumption can easily lead to overheating and dehydration. Make sure you keep them away from the direct sun. Keep them inside and provide ample fresh cold water to keep their body heat in check. The best way to provide fresh water is by offering them a Frozen Treat Bowl. Make a solution of nutritious items and water and freeze them to make frozen kibble. The dogs enjoy eating them. This will help to keep them cool as well as provide enough nutrition.

Watch for signs of heatstroke

Overheating can invite heatstroke in dogs. This is why you shouldn’t let your dog stay outside for a longer duration of time. The signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, seizure, and unconsciousness.

The best way to avoid heatstroke is by setting up a pet’s pool in the backyard so your dog can stay inside the water. You can also wrap a wet towel around them to avoid overheating.

How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke

When you notice that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, immediately move them into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Start applying ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

If the problem seems persistent, consider taking them directly to a veterinarian.

How to measure dog temperature?

There are telltale signs that your dog is overheating; excessive panting, lying on the floor motionless, or slowed breathing. It could easily turn into a fever and can be detrimental to their health but there’s no easy way to say this. You need to take your dog’s temperature to determine if it’s really overheating.

The thermometer should be placed in its bum to measure body temperature. As it can often be difficult to keep your dog still, it’s best if two people together on this particular project.

Before placing the thermometer, you should lubricate it well with Vaseline.

Raise its tail and push the thermometer into its rectum with a twist. It should go in one-three inches, depending on the size of your dog.

Hold it in place for two minutes, then remove it, wipe it quickly, and read the temperature.

Dog’s Fever

Fever is common in dogs throughout the year. However, in summer the fever becomes more common because of overheating, dehydration, and lack of nutrition. The normal body temperature for dogs is between 101 and 102.5 F, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 F for humans. This implies that dogs may feel feverish even when its temperature is completely normal. A temperature of more than 103 F is considered a dog fever, although it can be 103 if a dog is very excited or stressed.

Be aware of the rising body temperature because when the temperature reaches 106 F, serious and fatal complications can occur.

Although there are no definite signs, some symptoms for fever in dogs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depressed mood
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge

How to treat Dog’s Fever?

Here are some handy tips to treat dog fever.

Give them a bath

The first thing you can do is wiping their ears and paws with a tepid, wet cloth. This may help to bring its body temperature down.

Consider giving them a tepid bath. Ensure that the water isn’t ice cold. You can water a bit colder than lukewarm. Apply water to its ears, paws, chest, and abdomen. You can avoid using soap.

Hydrate them

Make sure your dog drinks a lot of water. Put fresh water in your dog’s water bowl and encourage them to drink water. This will help to prevent dehydration from fever.

Visit the Vet

Your vet probably has the medical history of your dog which will help to diagnose the fever. They can only offer a solution after conducting proper tests including a physical exam, urinalysis, blood count, or a biochemistry profile. This will help to ascertain the exact reason for the fever and provide a proper solution. Many times, the fever in dogs is caused by an underlying infection but simply overheat.

Here is a quick Infographics for the brief information.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. We provide both mobile and on-location emergency services for pets. Our certified veterinarian will ensure that your pet is immediately treated for overheating, dehydration, or fever. Get in touch with us to learn more about precautionary measures for overheating.

Mentally and Physically Strong: Work Ethic Carries Military Veterinarian

Mentally and physically strong: Work ethic carries Army veterinarian

It isn’t unusual to hear about a random act of kindness. We have seen instances where a person went to a great length to save the life of another being.

A military veterinarian saved the lives of two dogs at New Hampshire following a usual event. Here is the story about the night she saved two lives.

Work ethic carries Army veterinarian

Danica Goodheart is a Military Veterinarian. She graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016 and proceeded to work for 2 years as an ER veterinarian in a 24/7 Emergency and Specialty Hospital.

One cold night in 2016 at an emergency veterinary clinic in Concord, New Hampshire, she encountered two fatally wounded dogs. She had completed working the overnight shift when a middle-aged couple emerged from the winter cold carrying a bleeding pit bull. Moments later another man walked in clutching a wet and injured golden retriever.

The two dogs had grappled with another dog on a frozen lake. Police fired at the dogs in an attempt to break up the fight however ended up hitting a bullet to one of the dogs.

Goodheart continuously worked on the pit bull for two hours. She treated the bullet wound after the projectile had torn through its abdomen. She treated the pit bull for hypothermia and bite wounds.

After saving their lives, Goodheart approached elderly couples. They were ecstatic to learn that their pet would survive.

She later mentioned in the interview:

"I will never forget the look on their faces."

Goodheart’s co-worker Capt. Chelsi Blume mentioned:

"She will put 110 percent effort into whatever she's doing,"

A Fitness Freak

A fitness junkie since her teen years, she has continued to train and keep in peak shape. She spends up to 25 hours a week in the gym.

She was placed first in her first bodybuilding competition at the Jay Cutler Classic in Richmond, Virginia in August 2019. She won the overall figure championship for women.

She had only trained for four months as a bodybuilder. She hired strength coach Nic Wightman shortly after arriving at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

She has always been an athlete and a fitness freak. She even competed in Division I track at the University of New Hampshire.

In addition, she has built meal plans for fellow Soldiers and friends to help them get in shape.

She has been active in the military as a veterinarian since 2016. She is assigned to the 248th Medical Veterinarian Medical Detachment at Fort Bragg. Along with a seven-person staff, she is charged with the medical care of military working dogs deployed on the field to detect drugs and explosives.

She explains that it takes resiliency to meet the demands of the position, which requires veterinarians to constantly train and prepare for a variety of duties, including providing preventive medicine, outpatient care and disease control for pets at military installations.

Even before joining the military, she had understood how to work under duress, having already dealt with the pressures of working in the ER. There she tended to injured dogs and cats and even injured animals found by roadsides.

This April, Goodheart will take part in Defender 2020 a multi-national joint military exercise that will test the Army's ability to project its capabilities from the U.S. to Europe.

In her early life, she grew up in the sprawling 100-acre farm on the eastern shore of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.

"I was always around animals," Goodheart said. "My mother has a very strong passion for animals and instilled that in us girls."

While attending high school, Goodheart learned of the importance of military working dogs, who often must go into harm's way when searching for explosive devices. That helped spur her toward a career as an Army veterinary doctor.

Veterinary Careers in the Military

If you’re willing to become a Military Veterinarian you will uphold the highest form of service.

The military vets are not only assigned to treat military canines but also provide veterinary services to military family pets at bases all over the world.

The military vets may perform a wide range of medical services including pet surgery. Along with the military animals and family pets, veterinarians in the military also play a big role in supporting the public health mission for the community. They extensively work with physicians and preventive medicine experts to develop zoonotic disease prevention strategies, especially focusing on rabies on rabies-prone areas.

They also supervise and inspect food items supplied to military service members and their families. This includes traveling abroad to perform audits on food and beverage manufacturing facilities to make sure that they are following the proper food safety standards.

The US Military offer appealing options for veterinarians considering serving a full 20-year career. Through the Long-Term Health Education & Training program, the military will pay for veterinarians to go back to school for an MPH, Ph.D., or any number of clinical and research-oriented residency programs.

Requirements to Be a Military Vet

Veterinarians looking to enter the Military must meet the same standards and physical fitness requirements as all other soldiers.

They will be subjected to an evaluation of your medical history and an intense medical exam before even being accepted as the military vet.

They also have to take a physical fitness test 4x per year that measures their ability to meet certain minimum requirements for pushups, situps, and a two-mile run.

Finally, their height and weight are measured at each of these tests to ensure that they meet the standard. The requirements are different for men and women, and they also change based on your age.

You must understand the importance of veterinary before considering to be enlisted in the military as the veterinarian. The most important thing that Military veterinarians must comprehend is that they are not ultimately in control of their lives and careers during their time in service. The deployment and active service area are designated by seeing where you fit the best.

Golden Retriever or Labrador [Infographic]

Do not confuse these two distinct breeds with their latter name "Retriever." Golden Retriever or Labrador, both are the most loved dog breeds throughout the US.

The basic difference between the two dogs lies in their temperament, skin coat, fur, life-span, and epidemiology.

Golden Retriever Or Labrador

golden retriever or labrador

Appearance

  • Labradors have a sturdy built and well-defined body cuts.
  • Golden Retriever looks more of the goofy kind. They are bigger than labs most of the time and their body is longer than a lab.

Coat

  • Labs are double coated just as the Golden, but they have shorter fur (Hardly an inch long).
  • Goldens have longer, lot more fur and a super fluffy tail.

Temperament

  • Goldens are known to be eager to please their owner when compared to Labs who are mostly food/treat driven. They are very obedient and one of the easiest dogs to train.
  • Labs are mostly couch potatoes - most of the time, all they worry or think of is food and treats.