The dog days of summer can heavily impact the health of both yourself and your pets. Heat exhaustion and hot spots can cause traumatic and long-lasting damage to the health of your dogs and should be taken seriously. Understanding hot spots and heat exhaustion in dogs is the first step in preventing them. 

What Is Heat Exhaustion? 
Heat exhaustion in dogs is very similar to heat exhaustion in humans, it occurs when your dog has been exposed to extremely hot temperatures for longer than what is considered normal or healthy. 

Unfortunately, not many dog owners are aware of how quickly heat exhaustion can set in, or how quickly it can become fatal. Dogs who are outdoors in extremely high temperatures can succumb to heat exhaustion after just 30 minutes of exposure, and death can occur within an hour if the animal is not moved to somewhere cool. It’s a common misconception that heat exhaustion only affects dogs who are left in a hot car; in reality, it can happen at any given time that pets are exposed to heat. 

What is a hot spot? 
Hot spots are very common on dogs who are experiencing an uncomfortable level of heat and are often accompanied by heat exhaustion. A hot spot is an irritated part of the dog’s body that has been affected by the heat and is presenting as a scab, a sore, or a welt. Hot spots on dogs are usually found in places with a lot of movement or irritation including a dog’s face, legs, paws, or thighs.

Common Signs
Common signs of hot spots on dogs include: 

  • Licking or biting at one area of skin 
  • A raw, painful-looking, or itchy patch of skin
  • Abnormal aggression associated with irritated skin 
  • Depression associated with irritated skin 
  • Crusty scabs 
  • Oozing sores 

Common signs of heat exhaustion in dogs include: 

  • Excessive panting 
  • Laboured breathing 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Fever 
  • Bright red, purple, or darkened gums 
  • Rapid pulse 
  • Lack of urine regularity 
  • Muscle tremors 

Common Treatments 
If you feel as though your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion or hot spots, immediate measures should be taken to cool down your dog’s internal and external temperatures. Common at-home remedies can help, however, it’s important to watch your dog carefully for signs of emergency distress. 

Common treatments for hot spots on dogs include: 

  • Remove the dog from heat and have it lay down in a cool, air-conditioned, or shaded area 
  • Discourage the licking or chewing of the affected area 
  • Apply store-bought hot-spot ointment to the affected area 
  • If the issue persists, bring the dog to the veterinarian immediately 

Common treatments for heat exhaustion include: 

  • Remove the dog from heat and have it lay down in a cool, air-conditioned, or shaded area 
  • Poor room temperature water over the dog 
  • Give the dog room temperature or slightly cool water to drink so as to not shock the dog’s senses 
  • If your dog loses consciousness or does not regulate breathing on its own after attempting to pour water several times, bring the dog to the veterinarian immediately 

Protect Your Dog This Summer 
Unfortunately, heat exhaustion can develop in dogs in just 30 minutes of extreme temperatures, and during the dog days of summer, this can happen very quickly and without warning. Protect your dog this summer by investing in Petline insurance, ensuring that–in case of emergency– your dog’s medical bills are not the pressing concern, allowing your dog’s recovery to become the main focus. 

Heat stroke and hot spots can happen to dogs, be prepared in the instance that it happens with
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