Heat stroke is one of the most dangerous—and unfortunately most common—conditions which can seriously harm or even kill your dog during the hot summer months. Many dog breeds are susceptible to heat stroke, including dachshunds; if you have a dachshund, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions and preventative steps to keep them from developing heat stroke. Let’s take a closer look at what causes heat stroke in Dachshunds and what you can do to prevent it.
What Causes Heat Stroke?
Heat stroke in dogs happens when their body’s become unable to keep their internal body temperature in a safe and healthy range. Normally, a dog’s body temperature should be between 100 and 102.5 degrees; any temperature over that is potentially dangerous, and any temperature over 106 degrees is considered a medical emergency in need of immediate veterinary assistance.
Signs of Heat Stroke
The signs of heat stroke in dogs include, but aren’t limited to:
- Rapid panting
- Red or pale gums
- Sticky, thick saliva
- Bright red dog
Depending on the severity of the heat stroke, the dog may also experience diarrhea, physical shock, or even a coma.
How to Prevent Dachshund Heat Stroke
There are many things that you can do to help prevent your Dachshund from getting heat stroke this summer. Some of the most important preventative steps include:
- Ensure your Dachshund has access to cool, fresh drinking water at all times whether they are inside or outside; if your dog is outside for an extended period, they MUST have unrestricted access to shade and cool water.
- Teach a Dachshund to swim; if you teach a Dachshund to swim, they’ll be able to cool themselves down by taking a swim in a pool. Remember to always supervise your dog in a pool and to make sure they’re wearing their lifejacket, even if you have already taught a Dachshund to swim. You can also provide your Dachshund access to a shallow wading pool that does not go above their head.
- Never leave your Dachshund in a parked car, even if the car is in the shade, even if the windows are down, or even if you only plan on being in the store for 5 minutes. It only takes a few minutes for the temperatures inside a car to turn deadly enough to kill.
- Restrict heavy exercise on hot days; don’t try to push your dog physically on a hot day since their bodies may not be able to regulate the heat caused by physical exertion well.
Teach a Dachshund to Swim
If you do decide to teach a Dachshund to swim as a means of keeping them cool in the summer, keep in mind that Dachshunds are not natural swimmers. You’ll need to take extra care and patience when teaching them to swim, because their short legs and body type do not lend easily to swimming like other breeds. You should always have your Dachshund wear a dog life jacket, even after they have learned how to swim, in order to prevent drowning.