Did you know? Cars are like small ovens. They heat up fairly quickly in warm weather, especially if the windows are all rolled up. This can lead to a dangerous environment for your dog.
Many of us think "It's not that hot out, I can just run into the store and run back out again, my dog will be fine!". But that's not always the case. A car can quickly heat up to scorching temperatures. The chart below shows how long it takes for a car to heat up to dangerous temperatures.
|CAR TEMPERATURE DOG SAFETY CHART|
|IF IT IS THIS HOT OUTSIDE:||IT ONLY TAKES THIS LONG:||TO REACH THIS INSIDE THE CAR:|
|90°F||Less than 10 Min.||160°F|
A dog can develop heatstroke when left in a car for too long. The symptoms of heatstroke in a dog are:
|restlessness||excessive thirst||thick saliva||heavy panting|
|lethargy||lack of appetite||dark tongue||rapid heartbeat|
|fever||vomiting||bloody diarrhea||lack of coordination|
If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, note the car's color, model, make, and license plate number. Have the owner paged in the nearest buildings, or call the police. Don't leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.
Keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable! If it is a hot day, leave your pet at home while you run errands.
First of all, you might ask your vet in your area if they have any specific recommendations to help prevent your Boxer from the effects of heat stress. Here in Southern CA, we have almost no indoor dog facilities, so those of us who are active in dog sports end up taking our Boxers out in the hot weather for dog shows, training, and just for fun. While there are some dangers in doing this, we have learned, over the years, how to diminish the risks to our Boxers.
For those of you in cooler states, you need to remember that your Boxer, who is used to cooler weather overall, can overheat faster when your weather warms up because they are not used to it. So, in summertime or unseasonably warm weather everywhere, it is a good idea to be prepared.
As we know, people 'sweat' as their form of respiration (cooling off), and may breathe more heavily. Dogs do not have the same kind of sweat glands. They PANT, and they have some sweat glands on the bottoms of their paws, but that's it. Bracecyphalic dogs, like Boxers, have a shorter nose, and often, additional flesh inside their mouth and throat which makes their respiration less efficient. In other words, Boxers overheat more quickly than many other breeds of dogs, and this is very important to bear in mind. Weather that might not be too hot for another dog, MIGHT be too hot for your Boxer. High humidity may make it harder for your Boxer to cool off, too. So, how can you get your Boxer safely through hot and humid weather?
Again because we have to learn to deal with heat as a constant in Southern CA, we have learned a few tips over the years to help our Boxers deal with the heat.
Rapid panting, with tongue hanging out, and a tight look around the eyes. The Boxer's sides are heaving. A Boxer who does not ordinarily dig, who is digging, and who is very dirty. This Boxer is trying to get to cool ground to cool it's body off. A Boxer who when drinking water, shoves its head up to the eyeballs and tosses water over it's back. Your Boxer's ears and gums and pink or white parts get very RED. Your Boxer is becoming uncoordinated (loss of electrolytes).
Okay, so you've provided water, a cool place, shade, and fortified your dog's diet against heat stress, exhaustion or heat stroke, and still your Boxer is in distress. What to do? First, call your vet and tell them what has happened. Follow whatever directions they give you. If you cannot reach a vet, do everything you can to get your Boxer's temperature down. If you can, put your Boxer in a bathtub of cool water. In the meantime, splash water on the bottoms of their paws, tummies, private parts, and ears. IF your Boxer is conscious or still responding, give them water to drink. If they are panting too hard to drink the water, trickle just a little in their mouths. Not a lot or they might choke. You might place ice packs on their chests and underbody areas. Keep trying to contact your vet in the meantime. Depending upon how severe the heat stress/exhaustion is, your Boxer may be shocky and may well need medical attention.
Summer is our fun time, and should be...With our wonderful Boxers, it can be a lot of fun, if you just take a few precautions.