Though pups are playful and energetic creatures, always ready to play fetch or go to the dog park, they can overheat — especially during the hot summer months. If it's too hot for you to be outside for too long, there's a good chance it's also too hot for your dog to be out for an extended period of time. Just like people, dogs can have heat stroke or heat exhaustion due to overexertion, or environmental factors such as summer weather.
"You probably wear a tee shirt and shorts in the summer, but your dog has an extra layer of fur. Imagine wearing a fur coat" during the summer, Dr. Daniel Edge, the director of veterinary specialty operations at Zoetis Petcare, explains to Bustle. Not super comfortable — and potentially dangerous.
Heat stroke in dogs can cause long lasting organ damage, and can be fatal. In fact, a 2006 study estimated a 50 percent mortality rate within the first 24 hours for dogs experiencing heat stroke. Further, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), hundreds of dogs die every year in the U.S. from heat exhaustion after being left in a hot car. And, thousands more are hospitalized for heat-related health issues every year. So, recognizing the early signs your pup is too hot can be crucial to ensuring they stay healthy.
If you are unsure of how to tell if your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion, these are seven signs experts say to watch out for, as well as what to do if your fear the rising temps and hot sun are jeopardizing your pet's health.