This post is sponsored by PetSafe®. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Pet Hydration Month and the DrinkWell® Everflow Indoor/ Outdoor Pet Fountain, but Dog & His Boy only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. PetSafe is not responsible for the content of this article.
Here we are in the dog days of summer, a splendid time of year. Kids on summer break from school. Vacationers flocking to the beach. Ice cream and barbecues and picnics in the park. These are the days when we slow down and sip boozy, fruity concoctions while laughing with family and friends. Okay, I don’t need to wait until summer to get my drink on, but you get my point.
Summer is a wonderful season, but it can be quite dangerous for the dogs in our lives. Imagine walking on hot pavement with bare feet. Imagine taking advantage of every minute in a sunny park by playing full tilt with your friends, running and wrestling and bouncing and laughing. Imagine not having a bottle of water with you.
Are your feet burning? Are you feeling more than a little hot and sweaty? Is your mouth dry and tacky? Are you really wishing you could have a little water?
Now imagine how all this would feel if your skin was covered in hair. Imagine how much hotter you would feel if you only sweat from those scalded feet and your nose. Now imagine that your normal body temperature is somewhere between 100-102.5 degrees, not the balmy 98.6 degrees it currently is. I bet you’re really wishing you could down a big glass of ice water about now!
Heat stroke in dogs is a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention. It comes on fast and, if left untreated, can cause significant organ dysfunction or worse. Seriously, dogs can die from heatstroke. The good news is that it is completely preventable in a few easy steps.
Signs of Heat Stroke
- Body temperature above 103.0 degrees
- Excessive panting
- Loss of coordination
- Bright red tongue or gums
- Dry, tacky gums
How to Respond to Heat Stroke
- Get your dog inside where there is A/C. Using fans can also help.
- Offer cool water but do not force your dog to drink.
- Place your dog in a tub of cool (not cold!) water or hose him down with cool water. Cold water can cool the body too fast and cause shock.
- Use rubbing alcohol on his ears, feet and abdomen. Alcohol is cooling and can help bring down an elevated body temperature.
- Cold packs can be placed on his neck or between his rear legs and abdomen. In a pinch, a bag of frozen vegetables will work.
- Monitor his body temperature every 5 minutes with a digital rectal thermometer.
- Call your veterinarian immediately!
How to Prevent Heat Stroke
- One of the simplest and most important ways to prevent heat stroke is to make sure your dog always has access to fresh water.
- Limit exercise or outdoor playtime to the mornings or evenings when it is cooler.
- Set up plastic kiddie pools in your yard for your dog to cool off in.
- Walk your dog on the grass, not the pavement.
- Take fresh water with you on walks, hikes, beach days and play dates in the dog park.
- Purchase a cooling mat for your dog to use when he gets back home from a glorious hike.
- If your dogs play outside in the yard like mine, make sure they have access to fresh water outside.
For more information on heat stroke and dogs, Pet360 has a great article with a lot of useful information. Look here to learn more.
Though this water fountain can be used inside, what I really like is it’s outdoor design. Made of durable BPA-free plastic, when used outside, it connects to a garden hose. This means it automatically refills once the water gets low so your dogs always have water available. Water circulates into one of two chambers, through a water filter then out the top, creating a small waterfall back into the bowl base. This design provides two real benefits: debris is removed by the filter and the free-falling water adds oxygen for freshness.
It holds 1.5 gallons of water, which is great if you have larger dogs that take larger gulps of water. The electrical cord is enclosed in anti-bite housing which will help keep your dog free of electricity (always a good thing!) and will keep the fountain in one functional piece.[wpvideo 6WUmAb8c]
I’m really loving the DrinkWell Everflow Indoor/Outdoor fountain. It is durable, can be used inside or out, offers the added benefit of filtered, circulating water but most importantly, it helps keep my dogs well-hydrated and safe from heat stroke when they’re outside in these hot summer months!