We run, we jump, we go up and down, and our pet follows us without hesitation. As a result of the heat and effort, we sweat, a lot! But our faithful friend, with those big eyes looks at us and just sticks out his tongue panting. What does he do with the heat that his body generates? How do you manage to withstand the summer temperature?
The cooling mechanism of the dog is different from that of the human being, and in addition to being more complex, it is less efficient. It does not have sweat glands distributed throughout its body, since, if it were, the sweat would spread through its fur, making it wet, and it would lose the ability to cool its body. The body temperature of a dog can oscillate between 38º and 39ºC. When the dog suffers from excessive body heat, its body tries to release heat through the pads of its feet, through the skin of the nose (nose) or through the mouth, by panting. Even the face and ears also help cool, mainly your brain.
Most of the sweat glands of the dog are located on the pads of its paws, hence in hot situations it leaves its tracks on the ground. That is your perspiration. But this being not enough, the animal’s body works like a refrigerator and sends warm blood to the tongue that removes excess heat in the form of moisture that evaporates. It is the combination of this moisture evaporated on the tongue with heavy wheezing – which expels hot air from the lungs through the mouth – that is the most important thermoregulatory mechanism in dogs.
Which dogs are most affected by heat?
The thermoregulatory function is less efficient in large breed dogs, puppies, and elderly dogs. It will be, with these groups, with which we will have to be more vigilant and forward-looking, avoiding, when we use them, too tight muzzles that prevent the animal from panting.
Tips to help our pet not be so hot
Following a few simple tips we can help our pet to release excessive heat from its body and avoid the resulting damages:
- Bring fresh and clean water to keep you hydrated, and have a portable drinker when we leave the house.
- Prepare homemade ice cream or ice cream with water and feed. It is convenient to run water on the ice before giving it to prevent the tongue from sticking.
- Protect the resting place from direct sun in the most intense hours.
- Cool the environment with a fan or air conditioning, especially in the car.
- Get his head and trunk wet or use a garden pool.
- Cut or brush her hair.
- Adapt the bed by raising it off the ground or use breathable materials.
- Avoid physical activities and meals in the hours of maximum sunshine.
Causes of heat in our pets
In a situation of intense heat, the dog may suffer a decrease in appetite and a lack of desire to move, but the most dangerous thing for him will be the dreaded heat stroke – when his internal temperature exceeds 42ºC -.
Dogs that suffer from heat stroke have symptoms such as excessive panting, rapid heartbeat, congested mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes loss of consciousness. If we detect some of these symptoms, we should go as quickly as possible to a veterinary center so that the animal is treated.
The importance of different temperatures for our pets
Although we are proactive in the face of high and low temperatures and protect our pets from suffering its consequences, we must ensure that they are also protected against parasites such as worms, fleas, ticks and other mites.
In our environment, there are numerous parasites that are highly harmful and even life-threatening for our dog. Also, many of these diseases are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted to people.
Just as parasites can survive both high and low temperatures, we must keep our pets protected every day of the year. Therefore, with the exact dose at the right time, we will achieve protection against the most frequent internal and external parasites of the dog.