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It's getting hot here in Vegas...

I notice Smokey especially sit in the hottest part of the yard for long spells of time. When they've had enough of the sun/heat they come to drink some water.

I've never really heard of a dog getting heat stroke when doing nothing; is it possible? Will a dog know when he is over heating simply lounging in the sun? Or should I move them into the shade myself and wet them down?

I'm not really asking for the signs of heatstroke...but are there preheatstroke signs like panting, hot to the touch fur (Smokey feels smoldering when he lounges in the sun) etc...

How can I get my dogs to drink more water? Is there something i can add to water that'll make it more appealing to drink? Or do dogs know when they're getting dehydrated? Heatstroke is associated with dehydration right? Not necessarily with too much sun/heat? Or is this wrong?
 

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It can happen when they're left in cars, and they're not doing anything then, so yes it's possible. But your dogs have shade to go to, right? They'd know better than to lay in the sun if it was getting too hot for them. And same with water, they have free access to that I'm sure. One thing my dogs have always liked to do when it's very hot outside is to dig down into the shady ground where it's cooler and lie there. But your yard is so nicely done (from the pictures you posted) I don't know if you can make a special spot for them to dig?
 

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It can happen when they're left in cars, and they're not doing anything then, so yes it's possible. But your dogs have shade to go to, right? They'd know better than to lay in the sun if it was getting too hot for them. And same with water, they have free access to that I'm sure. One thing my dogs have always liked to do when it's very hot outside is to dig down into the shady ground where it's cooler and lie there. But your yard is so nicely done (from the pictures you posted) I don't know if you can make a special spot for them to dig?
Agree. If mine get to hot they retrieve into the shade and/or come back into the house and seek out the coolest possible place.
We have some of those cooling holes too. ;)
Also underneath the Sunroom is a favorite spot to cool off.

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I remember a James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small) story about a bull that got heat stroke standing around doing nothing. The new owner put the bull in a pasture, but the bull had previously been kept indoors or in some other covered setting.

My dogs will sit in the sun for about 5 minutes before they move to the shade. And it's not very hot here.
 

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100+ degrees

I was wondering the same thing yesterday. It was over 100 degrees here and Fiona laid out on the patio. It had concrete warmed by the sun and she laid in the sun. She did eventually get up and come inside and drink water. She has a kiddie pool outside with water she can drink too.

I hope she is not a dingbat. When she gets too hot, I hope she will come inside. She better not lay there and just smolder.
 

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They do NOT necessarily know better than to get out of the hot sun. Sometimes, just like people, they don't realize they've been in the hot sun too long and they are already dehydrated and disoriented.

Re: wetting them down. You need to SOAK the dog to really get their body temp down. Just lightly wetting can actually make things worse.

Also, you should have pools available for them to lay in. That is the best way to get their body temps down.

If these were my dogs (who are NOT acclimated to the hot climate) I would not let them out during the heat of the day or not let them into the sunny areas of the yard.
 

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This is some of the information from the VIN website about heatstroke.

"Body temperature may be elevated because of an infection (fever), but it may also increase because of hot and/or humid conditions outside. An increased body temperature caused by environmental conditions is commonly referred to as hyperthermia, heatstroke, and heat prostration. Hyperthermia may be a life-threatening condition, and does require immediate treatment. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5°F plus or minus 1 degree Fahrenheit, and any time the body temperature is higher than 105°F, a true emergency exists. Heatstroke generally occurs in hot summer weather when dogs are left with inadequate ventilation in hot vehicles. However, heatstroke may also occur in other conditions, including:

1. When an animal is left outdoors in hot/humid conditions without adequate shade.

2. When exercised in hot/humid weather.

3. When left in a car on a relatively cool (70°F) day; a recent study from Stanford University Medical Center found the temperature within a vehicle may increase by an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit within one (!) hour regardless of outside temperature.

Other predisposing factors may be obesity and/or diseases affecting a pet’s airway. Keep in mind that prolonged seizures, eclampsia (milk fever), poisonings, and many other conditions may cause hyperthermia. Also, brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds (Pekingese, Pug, Lhasa apso, Boston terrier, etc.) may suffer from ineffectual panter syndrome that results in an increased body temperature that may be fatal.

Initially the pet appears distressed, and will pant excessively and become restless. As the hyperthermia progresses, the pet may drool large amounts of saliva from the nose and/or mouth. The pet may become unsteady on his feet. You may notice the gums turning blue/purple or bright red in color, which is due to inadequate oxygen."


The site also has information on WHAT TO DO, and just as important WHAT NOT TO DO, should your dog have a heatstroke.

01 Hyperthermia (Heat Stroke, Heat Prostration) - VeterinaryPartner.com - a VIN company!
 

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My old dog is an indoor only dog so when I'm outside working and try to have him out there with me, he doesn't gravitate to the shade and just sits in the sun on the hot sand usually. He has no idea that it's cooler in the shaded areas because he's not outside enough to realize that. He's also a black long-haired dog (shih tzu). I usually end up having to put him back in the house because he either sits on the deck panting or on the hot drive panting.
 

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I remembered taking Fiona on a walk when she was 3 or 3.5 months old. It was super hot and I wondered do dogs get heatstroke? So i packed Fiona up and went home. Fiona immediately went to her doggie pool and laid down. She never did it before or since. So maybe she figured it out before I did.

Also, I forgot to mention that yesterday I poured chicken stock in to 2 ice cube trays and put in the freezer. Came home today and Fiona got 3 chicken ice cubes. Yummy. Note to self: don't put in ice tea.


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