During the summer months, guardians must be vigilant for subtle signs that their dogs are experiencing severe distress from the heat or hot pavement or from being subjected to crowds and loud noises. I stopped my car to help a man whose dog was faltering in the heat, and we reached the vet’s office within minutes, but it was too late and the dog died, frothing and convulsing.
One of the most common misconceptions is that if you are coping on your walk, jog, or bike ride, then your dog must be coping too. Heavy panting and a tongue hanging out of the mouth mean that your dog is very hot. I have seen people, oblivious, talking on their cell phones while their dogs suffer, and when approached, they are adamant that their panting dog is “just fine.”
People often haven’t a clue that, unlike humans, dogs cannot perspire through their skin and might as well be locked in a plastic box with a tiny vent. Dogs’ hot-weather experience is very different from ours. People need to have a heart and open their eyes if they want to keep their canine companions safe.
Ingrid E. Newkirk
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals