Month: April 2018

How to Save a Fading Newborn Puppy

For the best chances of saving a fading pup, contact a veterinarian at the first sign of trouble, like excessive crying or difficulty nursing. Ensuring that the pups nurse, maintaining their body temperature, and offering emergency care are your most effective options. While taking these steps can help promote a healthy litter, do your best to understand that not every pup makes it through the birthing process. Try to recognize that you did your best in the unfortunate event that a fading pup is lost.


Consulting with a Veterinarian

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    Monitor the litter closely. Look for abnormalities like pups without suckling instincts, excessive crying, and physical deformities such as flattened chests or any absent body parts. Seek emergency care as soon as possible if you suspect something’s not right. Be ready to report your observations to the vet.[1]

    • Take an initial weight of each pup after birth. Continue to weigh them a couple times per day afterward. Within 24 hours, a pup’s weight might decrease by less than 10%, but should increase steadily after the first day.
    • Take the pups’ and mother’s temperatures at least a couple times per day. Normal rectal temperatures for puppies are from 95 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit (35 to 37.2 degrees Celsius) during the first week of life, and 97 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (36.1 to 37.8 degrees Celsius) during the second and third weeks of life. Adult dogs and puppies older than four weeks have temperatures that run about 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 to 38.9 degrees Celsius).[2]
    • Be ready to describe the mother’s diet to the vet. Pregnant and nursing dogs require special diets, which should include a high quality food that consists of 29% protein, 17% fat, and less than 5% fiber.[3]
    • Closely monitor nursing and make sure nursing begins within a maximum of 12 hours of birth. This is because the mother dog will produce colostrum—a nutrient rich breast milk—during this time, which can promote good health in her puppies. Note if the mother disregards or is disinterested in nursing or attending to the pups.
    • Be ready to describe any interactions your pregnant dog had with other animals in the weeks prior to delivery. This will help the vet diagnose any communicable diseases that might be affecting the pups, such as bacterial or viral infections. The mother may also pass intestinal parasites onto her dogs.[4]
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    Call the vet if any pups separate from the litter or cry excessively. Newborn pups should do little more than nurse and sleep, and should cry only very little, if at all. They should huddle with the other pups without crawling away from the group. If pups deviate from any of these normal behaviors, call the vet immediately.[5]
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    Prepare the whelp box for transport. The vet will most likely have you bring the mother and full litter in for examination. Use the whelp box to transport the mother and pups.

    • It’s a good idea to create a whelp box instead of just designating a whelp area for your dog to deliver its litter. That way, you’ll be able to transport the mother and litter more easily in the event that emergency care is needed.
    • You can use a shallow cardboard box that has a shelf or separate area in it where the puppies can go while the mother is sleeping (to prevent her from rolling over onto them in her sleep).
    • Line the box with several sheets of newspaper or puppy pads before she delivers the puppies, and then switch to a thinner lining, such as an old bedsheet after she delivers.[6]
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    Have the mother tested for malnutrition and infection. The vet will screen the mother’s blood for low iron and protein content and ask you about her diet. They’ll also check for birth defects and test for viral and bacterial infections, such as E. coli and parvovirus.[7]

    • These steps will help the vet determine whether antibiotics should be administered.


Separating the Pup from the Litter

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    Separate the fading pup from the litter. If any pups do show signs of fading or cry excessively, you should separate them from the litter and call the vet for help. Depending on the symptoms you report, the vet will instruct you to bring the fading pup in for emergency care or advise you attempt alternative feeding methods.[8]
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    Place the fading pup in a separate box. After removing any fading pups from the litter, place them in a separate whelp box. Line the box’s floor with a bath mat or newspaper.

    • Go with newspaper if the pup is emitting discharges or if soiling is a concern. You’ll be able to quickly swap out dirty paper for a clean replacement.
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    Keep the fading pup warm. Use a heating pad to warm the separate container. Be sure to check the pad and box frequently with the back of your hand to make sure they aren’t hot to the touch. Keep a newborn pup’s temperature within 95 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit (34.4 to 37.2 degrees Celsius).

    • Place the heating pad under the box’s floor lining, or if you’re using a wood box, you can place the heat under the box to let the wood conduct heat. However, make sure that the heating pad does not cover the entire area. The puppies should be able to crawl off of the heating pad if they get too warm.


Providing Emergency Care

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    Check the pups for dehydration. Gently pull back the skin between pups’ shoulders. It should snap back into place quickly. If it doesn’t spring back into place promptly, the puppy is likely dehydrated.[9]

    • Under the vet’s advisement, you can try using a clean eyedropper to rub a bit of corn syrup on the puppies gums and then use an eyedropper to give him some water. You can also use puppy milk replacer.
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    Warm the pups gradually if they’re too chilled to nurse. Chilled pups are unable to suckle and digest food, but warming them too quickly can be dangerous. The best way to carefully and gradually warm a chilled pup is to hold it against a large patch of your skin. That way, your body will transfer to the pup without overheating it.[10]

    • If pups are too cold, they won’t be able to suckle or digest food, which will cause fading. Pups under a week that are too warm aren’t yet able to pant to reduce their body temperature.
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    Give the pup a sugar or honey solution. If any pups are dehydrated or if you haven’t observed them nursing, call the vet and ask if you should administer honey, corn syrup, or a sugar-water solution. If the vet approves, put on surgical gloves and administer a drop of the syrup onto the pup’s gums every few hours. Avoid alternative feeding without the vet’s approval.[11]
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    Feed the pup colostrum. During the first one to two days of delivery, the mother produces a special milk called colostrum. By feeding on this fluid within 12 hours of birth, the pups ingest needed antibodies from the mother’s bloodstream. Without prompt nursing, the pups will be susceptible to infection in addition to dehydration and malnutrition.[12]

    • If you don’t have supplemental colostrum on hand, you can attempt to express it from the mother’s teat into an eyedropper and manually feed a pup that hasn’t suckled. Your vet can also attempt this process, might have a supply of colostrum on hand, or can supply any fading pups with blood plasma from a healthy dog.
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    Inject subcutaneous fluids. Under the vet’s advisement, use a sterile drawing syringe to inject a Ringer’s lactate solution subcutaneously, or beneath the skin. Be sure the solution is warm, and never inject cold solution. Avoid touching the tip of the syringe or otherwise contaminating it.[13]

    • Have your vet recommend an amount suitable for the pup.


How to Revive a Puppy

Some newborn puppies are unable to start breathing on their own immediately after birth. In many cases, however, you can perform emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to successfully revive a lifeless puppy.


Initial Analysis

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    Check the puppy. When a puppy does not immediately begin to cry after birth, there is a high risk that it may not be breathing. Puppies that are struggling to breathe and those that do not start breathing within a few seconds will need emergency CPR.

    • Breech birth puppies—those that are born feet-first, rather than head-first—are more likely to face danger than those birthed normally. As soon as you see that a puppy is experiencing a breech birth, you should be prepared to check its breathing and perform CPR as needed.
    • Even a puppy born normally may not immediately begin breathing, though. Any puppy that does not begin breathing within a few seconds of birth should be given emergency CPR.
    • A puppy that opens its mouth in a gasping motion without making a sound puppy has likely inhaled amniotic fluid and could be suffocating. On the other hand, a puppy that is completely lifeless has probably stopped breathing and may or may not have a heartbeat. It will be harder to save a newborn puppy that enters into complete cardiac arrest, but you should continue to work with this puppy since saving it may still be possible.
    • That being said, at this point, you only need to determine whether or not the puppy has stopped breathing. Don’t worry about how lifeless the puppy appears overall, and focus on clearing the airways before checking for a heartbeat.
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    Instruct another person to call the veterinarian. Another person should call your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic while you begin CPR procedures.

    • A veterinarian should be able to guide you through the process more thoroughly. He or she should also be able to consult you on how long to continue working on the puppy based on your specific circumstances.
    • If you are the only person around, perform emergency CPR before contacting the veterinarian. Once the puppy starts breathing, call the veterinarian for advice on continued care.
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    Engage in emergency care. In many cases, you will need to provide both pulmonary and cardiac treatment to the lifeless puppy.

    • Initial respiratory treatment should be provided first, followed by cardiac stimulation. You will then need to rotate back and forth between respiratory and cardiac care until the puppy is stable.
    • If the puppy’s heart is not beating at all, you will need to try restarting it. If the puppy’s heartbeat is present but slow or weak, you will only need to stimulate the puppy in an effort to keep its heart working.


Emergency Pulmonary (Respiratory) Care

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    Drain the airway using gravity. Gently hold the puppy’s head downward for 5 to 10 seconds so that gravity can help drain any amniotic fluid and/or mucus from the mouth, throat, and lungs.

    • Centrifugal force can also be used to drain the fluid of the puppy’s lungs, but you should ask a veterinarian to demonstrate the process before attempting to do it. You’ll need to hold the puppy’s head and neck very secure while smoothly swinging the puppy down and in between your legs. The movement should not be jerky and you must ease the puppy into a gradual stop.[1]
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    Remove fluid using a suction bulb syringe. While keeping the puppy’s head tilted downward, use a medical suction bulb syringe to remove fluid from the puppy’s mouth.

    • Squeeze the bulb to remove the air from inside. Do this before inserting the bulb into the puppy’s mouth since doing so afterward would drive fluid further down into the lungs.[2]
    • Insert the tip of the suction bulb into the puppy’s mouth. The tip should reach the entrance of the puppy’s throat, but try not to force it too far into the throat since doing so could cause injury to the puppy’s airways.
    • Once the syringe is positioned, gradually release the squeezed bulb. The suction should draw fluid from the mouth and throat into the bulb.
    • Remove the bulb from the puppy’s mouth and squeeze it again to evacuate fluid and air. Repeat two or three more times, or until you stop drawing fluid out.
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    Breathe into the puppy’s nose and mouth. Gently breathe into the puppy’s nose and mouth two or three times to fill the lungs with air.

    • Position your mouth so that it is sealed around both the mouth and nose of the newborn puppy. Alternatively, you can hold the puppy’s mouth closed with your hand while positioning your own mouth over the puppy’s nose.
    • Breathe small, gently puffs of air into the puppy. Do not breathe too deeply since doing so can damage the puppy’s lungs.


Emergency Cardiac Care

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    Check for a heartbeat. After administering initial respiratory treatment, check the puppy’s chest for a heartbeat.

    • Place your fingers against the chest wall. A strong heartbeat should be easy to identify with no additional tools.
    • You may need to use a stethoscope to identify the difference between a weak heartbeat and no heartbeat, however. If you have a stethoscope, place it over the chest wall and listen for a few seconds.
    • Note that a normal, healthy newborn puppy should have a heartbeat between 120 and 180 beats per minute.
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    Compress the puppy’s chest. If the heart is not beating at all, you will need to perform a few gently chest compressions.[3]

    • Place your thumb and index finger around the puppy’s chest, directly at the back of the puppy’s bent elbow. This is roughly where the heart should be.
    • Squeeze or compress the chest quickly to stimulate the heart. Do so once or twice.


Continued Treatment

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    Repeat both respiratory and cardiac treatment as needed. You will need to switch between mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compression until the puppy shows signs of life.

    • Give the puppy two to four puffs of air every 15 to 20 seconds.
    • Continue to gently compress the puppy’s chest in between puffs of air.
    • Check the puppy every minute to determine if it has begun to breathe on its own. You should also check for a heartbeat every minute.
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    Stimulate the puppy once its heart begins to beat. As soon as the puppy’s heart begins to beat, stop performing chest compressions and focus on stimulating the puppy.[4]

    • Using light, careful pressure, vigorously rub the puppy with a towel.
    • Gently turn the puppy over in your hands several times.
    • Grab the puppy by the scruff of its neck several times, as well.
    • While stimulating the puppy, you may still need to provide a few puffs of air every 20 to 30 seconds to keep its lungs pumping.
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    Know how long to continue. Once the puppy’s heart starts beating, you should continue stimulating the puppy for at least 20 minutes.

    • Most puppies that revive after receiving emergency CPR will stabilize after 20 minutes.
    • If the puppy’s heart does not start beating within 5 minutes of treatment, however, it is unlikely that the puppy will revive.
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    Monitor the puppy closely. All newborn puppies should be closely monitored for several days, but it is especially important to keep a close eye on puppies who needed to be revived upon birth.

    • One of the most important things you can do is to keep the puppy warm. Puppies that get chilled during the first week of life can easily weaken and pass away. Provide hot water bottles, heating pads, heating lamps, and plenty of warm blankets in an effort to keep the box at a minimum constant temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
    • Professional veterinary care is also strongly recommended. If you have not already called the veterinarian, do so after the mother has given birth to the remainder of her puppies. Let the veterinarian know about any puppies you needed to revive and follow his or her instructions on additional aftercare.


How to Recognize a Dying Dog

Even after death, your love for your special pets lives on. However, death—even for dogs—is a reality everyone must face. In the finals days of your loyal friend and companion, knowing the signs that would tell you if your dog is dying can give you and your family enough time to prepare emotionally. Being aware of your dog’s condition can also help you prepare for your dog’s graceful, peaceful, and comfortable departure. Following the steps in this article will help to ensure your pup feels as little pain as possible.

Recognizing Fatal Signs

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    Observe respiratory symptoms. Towards death, from a few days to a few hours, you will notice that the dog’s breathing will become shallow, with very long intervals in between breaths. The normal resting breathing rate of 22 breaths/minute may drop to only 10 breaths/minute.

    • Immediately before dying, the dog will exhale deeply. You may be able to feel your dog deflate as her lungs collapse.
    • The dog’s heart rate will drop from the normal 100 to 130 beats per minute to as low as 60 to 80 beats per minute, with a very weak pulse.
    • In the final hours, you will observe that your dog breathes shallowly, and will not move anymore. Most of the time, your dog will only lie in a dark or hidden corner of your house.
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    Recognize the digestive signs. If your dog is dying, he/she will show a very clear loss of appetite. There will be virtually zero interest in eating and drinking water. As death nears, the organs like the liver and kidneys are slowly shutting down, making your dog lose digestive functions.

    • A dry and sticky mouth, due to dehydration, can be observed.
    • You may also notice vomiting. The vomit usually will contain no food, only frothy or sometimes yellowish to greenish colored acid, due to bile. This also comes as a result of loss of appetite.
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    Notice how his muscles work. Twitching or involuntary spasms of muscles can be observed as your dog weakens due to loss of glucose. There will also be a loss of response to pain, and loss of other reflex actions will be observed.

    • When your dog tries to stand or walk, you will notice a lack of coordination and staggered walking. Possibly, your dog will not be able to walk at all. Your dog may lose consciousness or go into a coma immediately before death.
    • Dogs that are nearing death and have suffered a chronic or prolonged illness may have a very skinny, emaciated look. Your dog may lose muscle mass, and the muscles may become very small and atrophied.
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    Pay attention to their bathroom habits. Another sign is an uncontrollable bladder and anal sphincter control. Towards death your dog will urinate and defecate without control. Even the most disciplined or well-trained dog is likely to experience these symptoms.

    • Urination will be uncontrollable and with little volume.
    • Nearing death, the dog will pass liquid diarrhea that is sometimes foul smelling, and sometimes blood tinged.
    • After dying, your dog will urinate and defecate for the last time because of total loss of muscle control.
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    Assess the condition of your dog’s skin. Skin will be dry and will not return quickly to its original shape when pinched. This is due to dehydration. Mucous membranes like gums and lips will be pale. When pressed, they will not return to their original pinkish color even after a long time (1 second is the normal return time for gums to return to the original color).


Recognizing Old Age

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    Notice how speedy your pooch is. When your dog is slowing down in movements but is still able to eat, drink, walk, stand on its own, and can still respond to your calls, this is a sign of just plain old age. He’s not suffering any particular pain, he’s just growing old.

    • Your dog can still do the things he/she enjoys, like walking around, being petted, playing, or socializing with other dogs, though in a more decreased frequency and intensity.
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    Observe how much your dog eats. As dogs get older, they will likely begin to eat less than they used to. Older dogs generally expend fewer calories and require less food than energetic young dogs. It’s nothing to be alarmed about—it’s just a normal part of the aging process.
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    Pay attention to how much your dog sleeps. An old dog will sleep more and more, but still being able to stand and move around and eat afterward. A dog who sleeps and doesn’t move around and eat is very sick; a dog who sleeps a lot and still eats and seems social is aging.
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    Watch how they act around other dogs. As dogs get older, they may show less interest in playing and socializing with other dogs. You might find that your dog gets overwhelmed or irritable in social situations more easily than before.
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    Notice how your dog looks. A number of things will sprout up as your dog ages. Look for the following:

    • Gray or white hairs appearing in the coat, especially on your dog’s face.
    • Parts of the body where friction is common getting bald or hairless. You may particularly notice this in the elbows, pelvic area, and butt.
    • Dental problems, such as loosening or staining of the teeth. Some of your dog’s teeth may fall out, or you may need to have them extracted by a vet.
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    Keep your elderly dog comfortable. If your dog is already in this stage of old age, provide comfort by:

    • Placing you dog in a well ventilated and warm room.
    • Providing comfortable bedding to support your dog’s joints and minimize pain.
    • Providing (but not forcing) food and water.
    • Spending time with your dog daily. Even if your dog is not up to playing or going for walks, he or she will probably still enjoy gentle petting and listening to your voice.


Putting Your Dog to Sleep

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    Learn about the purpose of euthanasia. Euthanasia, or putting the dog to sleep, is a gentle and humane method of ending the life of an animal that is suffering. Vets perform euthanasia by injecting the animal with a high dose of an anesthetic that will gradually slow and stop the heartbeat. Its 3 main objectives are:

    • The relief of pain and suffering of the animal.
    • To minimize the pain, distress, fear, and anxiety the animal experiences before consciousness is lost.
    • To bring about a painless and struggle-free death.
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    Take time to think about putting your dog down. When caught in a situation wherein you have to decide if euthanasia is right, your pet’s welfare should always come first. Try to remove all of your attachment, emotion and pride. Never prolong their life for your sake. It is more humane, and it is your duty as an owner to provide your dog a distress-free, and humane death. Ask yourself these questions:[1]

    • Is the treatment for my dog’s condition not possible anymore?
    • Is my dog in pain and distress that is not responsive to drugs or pain killers?
    • Is my dog suffering from severe and painful injuries from which he/she may never recover, like severe head trauma or severe bleeding?
    • Has terminal illness reduced the quality of life for my dog to a point that he/she can no longer eat, drink, move, or defecate on his/her own?
    • Does my dog have an inoperable birth defect that will give him/her a poor quality of life?
    • Is my dog suffering from a contagious disease like rabies that can pose a threat to life to other animals and humans?
    • Will my dog still be able to do the things he/she enjoys when treatment is available?
    • If the answers to any of the questions above are yes, then it may be time for the dog to be humanely put to sleep.
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    Talk to your vet about whether euthanasia is the best choice. They can properly assess the condition of your dog through tests and they will have the authority to tell you if the condition is still treatable or if your dog is near the end of its life. Your vet may be able to give you an idea of what kind of quality of life you can expect your dog to have if you choose to continue treatment.

    • While your vet can offer advice, the decision to put the dog to sleep is still up to you in the end.
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    Research the medical conditions that warrant euthanasia. In general, any condition that causes pain and suffering that cannot be easily cured or managed, be it acute or chronic, is a humane reason to put the dog to sleep. Here are some examples:[2]

    • Severe trauma from vehicular accidents.
    • Serious diseases that are difficult to treat, such as severe liver disease or uncontrolled diabetes.
    • End stage kidney failure, liver failure, and invasive or malignant tumors.
    • Contagious diseases that are incurable and pose a threat to the life of other animals and humans (an example would be Rabies).
    • Severe behavioral problems, such as extreme aggression that cannot be corrected with behavioral therapy, that can pose a risk to other animals, people, and the environment.
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    Look for the signs that your dog is ready for euthanasia. If you observe these signs in your dog, call your vet immediately and bring your dog in for an exam. Euthanasia may be called for if:[3]

    • The dog cannot eat, drink, stand or walk anymore, and has completely lost interest in these activities.
    • The dog is urinating or defecating uncontrollably.
    • Your dog’s breathing is labored, and the pup is unresponsive to emergency procedures and drugs.
    • There are signs of pain, such as crying or whining continually, due to a terminal illness or injury.
    • The dog is bedridden and cannot lift his/her head.
    • Your dog’s skin temperature is very low, indicating that the organs are already beginning to shut down.
    • The dog has large tumors that are inoperable and causing pain and immobilization.
    • The mucous membranes, like the gums, are gray and dehydrated.
    • Your dog has a very weak and slow pulse.


How to React when You See Dogs in Hot Cars

Every summer, numerous dogs die in hot cars. A dog can die in a car in as little as six minutes due to the effects of heat. Dogs can get heatstroke, smother to death, or get dehydrated. Many states and countries have “hot car” laws making it illegal for dogs to be left in hot cars, but those laws don’t allow you to break into cars to get the dog out. If you see a dog left in a hot car, try to notify the owner or contact emergency authorities to help rescue the dog.


Notifying the Owner

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    Write down the car’s information. When you see a dog in a hot car, you should write down the car’s information. This includes any information needed to identify the car or owner. Write down the details about the car, such as the color, make, and model. You can also note the license plate number.[1]

    • You can write it down or take a picture of it with your cell phone.
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    Notify someone in authority. You should notify someone when you see a dog locked in a hot car. If you are in a parking lot where it’s easy to know which store the owner is in, go in to ask for a manager and see if they can call the owner of the car over the intercom. You may want to contact a security guard, parking lot attendant, or police officer you see nearby.[2]

    • If the manager won’t call the person over the intercom, try to be persistent. Ask the manager again and explain that the dog is in danger of dying.
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    Talk to the owner. Remain by the car monitoring the dog. Watch to see if the dog is responsive and active. Wait until the person returns to the car and you know that the dog is safe. When the owner returns, talk to them about the dangers of leaving the dog in a hot car. Stay calm, but firm. Don’t get angry or yell at the person. Use the moment to educate.[3]

    • For example, you might calmly explain that a dog can die from heatstroke or brain damage after 15 minutes in a hot car.


Dealing with Emergency Situations

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    Call the authorities. If you can’t find the owner of the car and you believe the dog is at risk of dying, call for help. You may call animal control or the police by using a non-emergency contact number. You want to try to get help so the dog can be rescued and saved before it dies from the heat.[4]

    • If possible, don’t leave the dog or car until the dog is safe.
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    Recognize heatstroke symptoms. Heatstroke is one of the major risks for a dog locked in a hot car. A dog can suffer from heatstroke within 15 minutes, and heatstroke can lead to death. When you see a dog in a hot car, look for the following signs:[5]

    • Thick saliva
    • Heavy panting
    • Dark tongue
    • Vomiting
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • Lack of coordination
    • Glazed eyes
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    Take the dog to the vet if they are suffering from heatstroke. After the dog has been rescued from the hot car, you should determine if they exhibit the symptoms of heatstroke. If they do, advise the owner to take them to the vet immediately so they can receive care.[6]

    • If the owner is unable to take the dog to the vet or not around, take the dog to an air conditioned building. Call animal control and tell them there’s an emergency and you need their help. They can help you get the dog to the vet.
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    Cool the dog down. Once the dog is taken out of the car, check to see if it has the symptoms of heatstroke. If the dog isn’t suffering from heatstroke, advise the owner to start trying to cool them down. The dog should be moved to an air conditioned car or building immediately. Offer the dog water to drink to start rehydrating.[7]

    • If the owner has not returned to the car, consider taking the dog to a nearby area so you can start cooling the dog down.
    • Cover the dog in cool water. You can use a hose, put them in a tub, or pour water over their head with a cup or pitcher. You might also place towels soaked with cool water on the dog. Shoot for the groin, stomach, chest, and paws. Make sure the water is cool not cold. This helps lower the dog’s body temperature.
    • Place the dog in front of a fan or a vent.


Understanding Legal Rights for Dog’s in Hot Cars

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    Refrain from breaking a window to rescue a dog. There is incorrect information circulating around the internet about police officers saying it is okay to break a car window to rescue a dog. This is not true. In some states, it’s even illegal for police officers to break into a car to rescue a dog. Though you may feel the need to break a window to rescue a dog, realize that the action may be a misdemeanor or felony.[8][9]

    • Some states, like Ohio and Florida, have good Samaritan laws that may protect someone from charges if they break a window to save an animal or child left in a hot car.[10][11] Check your state or country’s laws before breaking a window to make sure you don’t face criminal charges.
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    Contact your local government to improve laws. Not all states and countries have the same laws about animal cruelty or dogs in hot cars. If your area does not have hot car laws, or you are not satisfied with them, consider contacting your local government to encourage them to make a law or stricter laws regarding animals in hot cars.[12]

    • Less than half of the states in the United States have hot car laws.[13][14]
    • If your town doesn’t have laws protecting animals in hot cars, talk to officials about getting a law put into place.
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    Become an activist. Another way to react to seeing a dog in a hot car is to become an activist to help spread awareness about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars. Some people don’t realize the dangers, or others may not think about it in the moment. Many animal groups have fliers, videos, stickers, and even dashboard sunscreens that you can distribute around your community to help raise awareness.[15][16]

    • Talk to local businesses about putting up fliers in their establishment or signs on their doors reminding people, especially during the summer, not to leave dogs unattended in hot cars.


How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs

Hot summer weather can be more dangerous to dogs than many pet owners realize. When a dog’s internal temperature is raised too high (generally about 106°F or 41°C), they can suffer a potentially fatal heat stroke. To keep your dog cool, make sure that they are prepared for hot weather with plenty of water and shade. If you are walking your dog, you may want to switch your usual path for a cooler, shadier trail. Driving with dogs presents its own risks, and whether you are going to the store or on a long-distance road trip, you should make sure your dog has what they need for the journey. Never leave a dog in a car alone.


Cooling Down Your Dog

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    Trim but do not shave their coat. Dogs’ fur is designed not only to keep them warm but to protect their skin from the sun. Some breeds have heavier coats than others, and you may want to take them to a dog groomer to have their coat trimmed for the summer months. That said, do not shave your dog, or you may leave them at risk for sunburn and overheating.[1]
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    Leave a water bowl outside. If you have a backyard where your dog runs free, you should leave out a full bowl of water when they are running around in the heat. Refill this bowl every time your dog goes outside to make sure that it is cool and fresh.
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    Give dogs plenty of shade. Dogs will need shady areas to rest while they are outside so that they do not overheat. If you have a backyard, you might want to provide your dog with an area of shade, either by giving them a dog house, an umbrella, or by planting trees.

    • If you are planning on taking your dog to the beach, be aware that there might not be much shade available. Sand can also become hot, burning your dog’s paws.[2]
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    Avoid tethering your dog outside for long periods of time. Some dogs are kept outside tied to a tree or post. Others might wait outside while their owner goes into a shop. Either way, in the summertime, it is inadvisable to leave your dog tethered for more than fifteen minutes. If you need to go shopping, leave the dog at home.[3]
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    Cool down the dog if they exhibit signs of heatstroke. Symptoms of heat stroke include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, loss of energy, drooling, and any obvious weakness or stumbling.[4] If your dog is starting to show these signs, you can hose them down with cool (but not cold) water. If you do not have a hose, you can put your dog in the shower. As you do this, check the dog’s rectal temperature every 30-60 seconds until the temperature is down to 103.5°F / 39.8°C. The goal is to slowly bring the dog’s temperature down. You should have the dog checked out by a veterinarian.[5]

    • You can also soak rags or wash cloths in cool water. Place these inside of the dog’s thighs.
    • Do not use cold water, ice packs, or iced water. These can actually prevent the dog from cooling down.[6]
    • If you do not have a thermometer or cool water available to you, go directly to the vet.[7]


Walking and Exercising With Your Dog

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    Go out during the cooler hours. The early morning and late evening hours will be much cooler than the middle of the day. It is recommend to walk your dog during these hours to avoid the worst of the heat.[8]
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    Walk your dog on soft ground. Asphalt can become dangerously hot during the summer, burning your dog’s paws and increasing their temperature. Instead of walking on sidewalks or blacktop, try to find dirt trails or grassy areas where you can walk your dog.[9]
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    Carry a collapsible water dish. You will need to give your dog plenty of water while you walk. Plan on taking frequent breaks so that your dog can rehydrate. Inflatable water bowls fold up easily in a backpack or pocket, and they allow your dog to drink water easily. Pour water from a bottle into the bowl so that your dog can drink at their leisure.
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    Rest in shady areas. If your dog starts panting heavily or stumbling, they need to rest. These may be signs of oncoming heatstroke. Find a cool, shaded area to let your dog cool off for a few minutes. Do not stop out in middle of hot asphalt or in direct sunlight. These can cause your dog’s temperature to spike.[10]
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    Watch for signs of overheating. Keep an eye on your dog for signs of heatstroke. If your pet begins to tire or pant heavily, stop in a shady spot and give them some water. If symptoms don’t subside, take them directly home and seek veterinary care.


Driving with Your Dog

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    Equip your car with window shades. When your car is parked, you can put these shades in the windshield to prevent the car from heating up too much. The shades block out direct sunlight. Be aware that in the height of summer, the car will still be warm, but the inside of the car will not take as long to cool down for you and your dog.
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    Give your dog water breaks. Your dog will need to be hydrated during the journey. If you are going on a long car trip, make sure to take regular breaks every hour or two to give your dog water. Bring along a travel dish or a collapsible water dish. Pour water in from a water bottle, and let your dog drink until they are satisfied.[11]
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    Put the air conditioner on. Even if you don’t need the A/C, your dog might. Proper ventilation and air flow is important for your dog in the car. If your dog is traveling in a crate, make sure that the air can reach them. The crate should have holes, and the air flow should be unobstructed towards the crate.[12]

    • If your A/C does not work, you can also crack a window while the car is moving. Do not let your dog stick their head out of the window.
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    Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car. Even if you park in the shade and leave the windows open, the internal temperature of your car can spike very quickly to dangerous levels. Do not leave your dog in the car, even for just a few minutes. Leave them at home when you need to go to the store. If you are traveling with them, keep them close at all times.[13]


How to Prevent Bloating in Dogs

Bloat in dogs is a very serious medical condition that should be treated as an emergency. The technical name for bloat is gastric dilation and volvulus syndrome (GDV) and it occurs when the stomach dilates or expands with fluid and gas. Once the stomach expands the problems increase, as the stomach twists and rotates around its short axis.[1] GDV needs to be treated quickly, as the twisting action can irreparably damage the body tissues, leading to death.


Assessing and Lowering Your Dog’s Risk of Bloat

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    Assess genetic risk factors. We are not entirely certain why bloat occurs but we do know that it can run in families. Determine your dogs relatives (littermate, parents) have had bloat. If they have, then your dog has a higher risk of getting it.[2]
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    Determine if your dog has a build that would boost its chances of getting bloat.Middle-aged and older large and giant breed dogs are more likely to experience bloat. Most of these dogs have a deep chest and a thin body frame. These physical traits can contribute to the incidence of bloat.[3]
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    Evaluate whether your dog’s eating habits will increase its likelihood of getting bloat. How your dog eats will influence its risk of getting bloat. Feeding habits that can increase the likelihood of bloat include: [4]

    • Feeding a dog from a raised bowl.
    • Feeding a large amount of food or water at one time or over time.
    • Once a day feeding.
    • Vigorous exercise around feeding time.
    • Rapid eating of food which means more air in the stomach.
    • Conditions in which the outflow of food from the stomach is slowed or impeded.
    • Feeding dry foods with a high oil or fat content.
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    Eliminate risk factors. While there are some factors you cannot change, such as the genetics and the build of your dog, there are some things you can do to lessen the risk of your dog getting bloat. Researchers at Purdue University performed a major study on bloat in dogs.[5] Study results determined that there were some steps that dog owners can do to help prevent bloat. These steps are:

    • Divide the food into two or more smaller servings a day.
    • Do not feed from a raised bowl. Feed from a bowl on the ground.
    • Make sure that fat isn’t in the top four ingredients of the food you feed your dog.
    • Do not feed an all dry food diet. Include wet foods or large meat chunks in the diet.
    • Do not moisten dry food.
    • Wait one hour before feeding and two hours after eating before letting your dog exercise or before going for walks, etc.
    • For dry food, feed no more than one cup per thirty pounds of body weight per meal (divided between at least two meals).
    • If your dog is a greedy eater and gulps its food, invest in a food dish that forces the dog to eat slower, such as the slow feeder or fun feeder.
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    Consider preventative surgery. Discuss with your veterinarian if your dog would be a good candidate for a precautionary gastropexy. Military service dogs (large breeds like German shepherd and Belgian Malinois) are frequently given a precautionary gastropexy to avoid any emergency situations when they are on the battlefield.[6] However, most owners opt to monitor their large and giant breed dogs instead of taking this measure.
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Diagnosing and Treating Bloat

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    Keep a look out for symptoms of bloat. The signs of bloat usually come on rapidly. These include:[7]

    • Pacing and restlessness
    • Excessive salivation
    • Enlarged abdomen (belly)
    • Reluctance or inability to stand or walk.
    • Rapid or weak pulse
    • Pale gums
    • Retching or dry heaving without bringing anything up. The esophagus is involved in the twist so nothing can come back through the mouth.
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    Take your dog to a veterinarian immediately if you see the symptoms of bloat.Keep in mind that this is a medical emergency and the dog needs to be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible if bloat is suspected. Dogs can die soon after the signs appear due to damage done to internal organs, collapse of the circulatory system, toxin buildup, and shock.

    • A dog that is brought into the veterinarian’s office is first given a physical examination and blood is checked for responses to internal organ damage. Radiographs (X-rays) are generally taken, which will show the bloated stomach along with the twist in the stomach.
    • In some cases a needle is advanced into the abdominal cavity and suction is applied to the syringe. This is done to determine if the stomach has ruptured, an unfortunate outcome in some cases of bloat.
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    Get bloat treated. A tube may be passed through the dog’s mouth and into the stomach to relieve the pressure of air buildup. Occasionally a tube will be placed directly through the skin and muscle into the stomach to relieve the pressure in the stomach. An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in a vein to provide medications and fluids.[8]

    • The treatment of bloat is surgery to untwist the stomach and to suture part of the stomach to the inside of the abdomen wall to prevent it from recurring. This is called a gastropexy. If the stomach ruptured the stomach will be repaired and the internal abdomen will be flushed.
    • Dogs will be closely monitored after surgery. Generally the dog will be placed on antibiotics and pain killers before and after surgery. Depending on your veterinarian clinic and how intensive the surgery was, the dog will need to remain hospitalized for up to 7 days.
    • Sadly up to 15% of dogs with gastric dilation and volvulus do not survive surgery despite the skill of the veterinarian.[9]


How to Perform CPR on a Dog

CPR stands for ‘cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ and is a life-saving procedure used to help dogs that have stopped breathing and/or have no heartbeat. When a dog stops breathing, the oxygen levels in its bloodstream fall rapidly, and without oxygen vital organs such as the brain, liver, and kidneys, rapidly fail. Brain damage occurs within as little as 3 – 4 minutes of respiratory failure, so it’s crucial to act swiftly.[1]


Assessing the Dog

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    Call the vet or an emergency animal hospital. The first thing you need to do when you find a dog that appears to be in serious distress is to call for help.[2]

    • Get a passerby or friend to phone the emergency vet so that you can immediately begin administering first aid if you determine that the dog isn’t breathing.
    • Because it will take time for emergency assistance to arrive, you’ll need to begin care as soon as possible and continue until help arrives.
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    Determine if the dog is breathing. A collapsed dog that is unconscious may still be breathing, and if the dog’s still breathing, CPR is not required. So it’s imperative that you first determine whether CPR is necessary before beginning.[3]

    • To determine if the dog is breathing, watch for a subtle rise and fall of the chest. A dog normally takes between 20 – 30 breaths a minute, which means its chest will move every 2 – 3 seconds. If you can’t see the chest moving, place your cheek close to the dog’s nose to feel for air flow against your skin.
    • If his chest does not move and you can’t feel air movement, the dog is not breathing.
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    Check for a heartbeat. To locate the heart, lay the dog on its side, swing its front elbow back to the point where it meets the chest wall. That point is the third to fifth intercostal space, which is where the heart lies.[4]

    • Watch the chest wall at this point on the chest and look for signs of the dog’s hairs moving in time with a heartbeat. If you don’t see any movement, place your fingers over that same point on the chest and apply gentle pressure, feeling for the bump of a heartbeat against your fingertips.
    • If you can’t feel a heartbeat, check for a pulse on the dog’s wrist. Run your fingertip along and under the main stop pad (the pad that doesn’t touch the ground) on the back of the front foot and press gently to feel for a pulse.
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    Check that the dog’s airway is clear. Open its mouth and check the back of its throat for blockages.[5]

    • An obstruction at the back of the throat can block the dog’s air supply and interfere with resuscitation, so if you discover any blockages, remove them before starting CPR.


Performing CPR

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    Remove anything blocking the dog’s airway. If the dog has a heartbeat, you’ll want to concentrate on breathing for the dog. Before beginning, remove any blockages from the dog’s mouth, including any vomit, blood, mucus, or foreign material.[6]
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    Position the dog for artificial respiration. Pull the dog’s tongue forward. Align the head with the back, and tilt it back a little to help open the airway.
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    Place your mouth over the airway. If it’s a small dog, place your mouth over the dog’s nose and mouth. If it’s a large dog, place your mouth over the dog’s nostrils.

    • Hold one hand under the lower jaw to close it. Place the thumb of the same hand on top of the nose the hold the mouth shut. Alternately, you can cup both hands around the mouth (and lips if it’s a large dog). It’s important that you prevent air from escaping through the mouth.
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    Administer artificial respiration. Blow firmly enough into the dog’s snout to lift the dog’s chest wall. If the chest rises easily (as is likely in a small dog), stop blowing once it has gently lifted. If you continue blowing, you may damage the dog’s lungs. Then release your lips to allow the air to escape.

    • Aim for 20 – 30 breaths a minute, or one breath every 2 – 3 seconds.
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    Get ready to begin chest compressions. The heart pumps oxygenated blood to the organs, so if you’re giving artificial respiration but there’s no heartbeat, the oxygen can’t get where it’s needed and you’ll need to provide chest compressions as well as artificial respiration.[7]

    • The goal is to perform chest compressions and artificial respiration in a pattern of 1 artificial breath for 10- 12 chest compressions.
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    Find the dog’s heart. Locate the heart by laying the dog on its side and swinging its front elbow back to the point where it meets the chest wall, which is where the heart lies.
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    Perform chest compressions. Lay your palm over the heart and press down gently but firmly–use enough pressure to compress the chest to one-third or one-half of its depth. The compression is a quick, rapid movement: compress-release, compress-release, repeated 10 – 12 times around every 5 seconds.

    • Give one artificial respiration breath and then repeat the cycle.
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    Stop periodically to assess the situation. Stop every 2 minutes and check if the dog has resumed breathing for itself. If not, continue artificial respiration until help arrives.
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    Perform abdominal compressions if the dog is a very large breed. A large or giant breed may benefit from abdominal compressions, which can help return blood to the heart, but these should not be done at the expense of cardiac compression.

    • To give a dog abdominal compressions, gently squash or compress the front part of the belly, where large organs such as the spleen and liver are located.
    • You can also add an “abdominal squeeze,” which can assist recirculation of blood to the heart, by slipping your left hand under the dog’s abdomen and using your right hand to “squeeze” the abdomen between your two hands. Repeat this movement once every two minutes or so–but if you have your hands full with chest compressions and artificial respiration, leave this element out.[8]


How to Measure a Dog’s Temperature

If your pup is feeling under the weather, it’s a good idea to make sure it doesn’t have a fever. The best way to check your dog’s temperature is with a thermometer. A rectal temperature provides a more accurate reading of body temperature, but it can be uncomfortable for dogs. Although less accurate, an ear thermometer may be easier to use. If you don’t have a thermometer or if your dog refuses to sit still, look for physical symptoms of a fever before taking your dog to the vet.


Using a Rectal Thermometer

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    Find a digital rectal probe. To take rectal temperature, use either a special digital rectal probe. These can be bought at drug stores and pet stores.[1]

    • Digital rectal probes are easy to use and read. Some are even made just for dogs. That said, they tend to be more expensive.
    • Be sure to read the thermometer instructions thoroughly before you use it on your pet. This will ensure that every use is as safe and comfortable as possible for your dog. It can also help you adjust settings, like getting readings in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
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    Rub petroleum jelly or baby oil on the probe. Apply the lubricant to the end of the probe that will go into your dog’s rectum. This end will usually have a metal cap on it.[2]

    • You can buy petroleum jelly or baby oil at grocery stores.
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    Hold the dog still. Make sure to praise the dog and soothe it throughout the process. If possible, ask someone else to hold the dog’s muzzle and pet it while you take its temperature.[3]

    • Have the second person stand or kneel next to the dog. They should slip the elbow furthest from the dog under its chin, and hook the closer arm under it chest just behind the front feet. This is a safe and comfortable hold.
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    Insert the probe 1–2 inches (2.5–5.1 cm) into the dog’s rectum. Lift the dog’s tail out of the way if necessary. Be gentle as you do this. Don’t force the thermometer in.[4]
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    Wait 1-2 minutes. Digital thermometers will beep after a minute when they have finished. Old fashioned glass thermometers may need slightly more time. When time is up, remove the thermometer from the dog’s rectum.[5]
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    Read the temperature off the thermometer. Digital thermometers will display the temperature on the screen at the top of the thermometer. For glass thermometers, read the number next to the highest point of the red line.[6]

    • A normal dog temperature is between 99.5–102.5 °F (37.5–39.2 °C). If your dog’s temperature is above or below this, call your vet.
    • If the dog’s temperature is 104 °F (40 °C) or higher, take it immediately to the vet for emergency treatment.
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    Stop taking its temperature if your dog reacts aggressively. Dogs may not like to have their temperature taken. Sick dogs especially may growl or snap at you. In this case, stop taking its temperature. Look for other symptoms of a fever instead.[7]


Taking Temperature by Ear

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    Calibrate a digital dog ear thermometer. Follow the instructions for your digital ear thermometer to calibrate it. In most cases, it will calibrate automatically. Just turn on the thermometer and wait a few seconds until it beeps.[8]

    • Do not use a glass thermometer when taking temperature by ear. You will not receive an accurate reading.[9]
    • There is no need to lubricate an ear thermometer.
    • You can get canine ear thermometers from your vet, a pet store, or online.
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    Hold your dog’s head still in your lap. If needed, lift up the dog’s ear. Pet the dog with whichever hand is not managing the thermometer. If possible, have another person hold the dog still while you take its temperature.[10]
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    Insert the probe horizontally into the ear canal. Hold the probe straight as you insert it into the dog’s ear. It should be at a 90-degree angle to the dog’s head.[11]
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    Hold the probe in the dog’s ear until it beeps. This may take between 1-2 minutes, depending on the brand. Try to keep the probe inside your dog’s ear for the entire duration. If your dog tries to move away or if the probe falls out, try again.[12]
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    Read the temperature off the digital screen. The temperature will appear at the top of the thermometer. Normal temperature for a dog is between 99.5–102.5 °F (37.5–39.2 °C). If your dog’s temperature is above or below this, call your vet.[13]

    • A temperature above 104 °F (40 °C) is a medical emergency. Take your dog to the vet immediately.
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    Stop the process if your dog whines or snaps. If your dog has an ear infection, using an ear thermometer can be painful. Stop if the dog yelps, whines, or shows other signs of pain. Similarly, if your dog reacts aggressively, stop what you are doing. Check the dog for physical symptoms of a fever instead.[14]


Checking for Fever without a Thermometer

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    Look for lethargic or depressed behavior from your dog. If your dog is not as energetic as usual, there may be something wrong. It may seem sad or depressed. It may sleep for longer than usual or refuse to play. This could be a sign of either a high or low temperature.[15]
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    Watch for shivering or panting. If the dog has a fever, it may pant heavily even while resting. Alternatively, it may visibly shake or you may feel the dog shiver when you touch it.[16]
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    Examine the dog’s eyes and gums for redness. If your dog’s eyes appear red and inflamed, it may be a sign of illness, such as a fever or allergy.[17] Check its gums as well. Normal healthy gums should look light pink. A dog with a fever may have dark, red gums.[18]
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    Listen for coughing from the dog. Like humans, dogs may cough when they are sick. Coughing usually indicates a respiratory infection, which could cause a fever. Take your dog to the vet.[19]
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    Track its food and water intake to see if it has lost its appetite. If a dog stops eating suddenly, it’s usually a sign of a problem. A dog with a fever may lose its appetite, even if you try to encourage it to eat. Call your vet for advice.[20]
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    Monitor any vomiting. If your dog vomits, withhold food for a few hours to see if it gets better. If it vomits again during this time, take your dog to the vet. The vet can perform tests to see what is causing the vomiting.[21]
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    Take your dog to the vet if it displays multiple symptoms. Any 1 of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that your dog has a fever. If it’s displaying more than 1 symptom, take your dog to the vet just in case. Your dog may have a fever or another condition.[22]

    • If your dog vomits twice in 1 day, take it to the vet regardless.


How to Measure a Dog’s Respiration Rate

Measuring your dog’s respiration rate (breaths taken per minute) is an easy and simple task which can help catch medical problems before they become serious and hard to treat. Increased resting respiratory rates in dogs can be symptomatic of heart disease as well as a variety of other ailments. If your dog has experienced heart issues in the past, you might want to keep track of their resting respiratory rate.


Taking Your Dog’s Respiration Rate

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    Take your dog’s respiration rate when it is calm. In order to determine your dog’s respiration rate, make sure that it is calm. Dogs naturally increase their blood oxygen levels while at play or when anxious. This means that they breathe more in order to circulate more oxygen through their systems. Alternatively, if your dog has just finished playing and is hot, it will increase its breathing rate to exhale the heat in their bodies, in an effort to cool themselves down. Wait until your dog is sitting still or laying down to take its respiratory rate.[1]
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    Count how many breaths your dog takes for one full minute. You don’t need to hold you hand in front of your dog’s nose, nor do you need to flip it over and feel for its lungs. These activities will only make your dog more nervous, which in turn will elevate its respiratory rate. Simply sit close enough to your dog to see its sides. Watch as its chest/torso expands and contracts. One breath is made up of one inhale and one exhale.[2]

    • The normal respiratory rate for a dog is between 15 and 30 breaths per minute. Excited and overheated dogs may exceed this number. Just watch their condition and make sure they return to the safe range if you are concerned.
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    Use a stopwatch. If you don’t have a stopwatch, use the second hand on your watch. For the first couple of times that you take your dog’s respiratory rate, be sure to count for a full minute. After you’ve done it several times and feel confident in your counting ability, you can reduce the time to 30 seconds. Then simply multiply your number by two to get your dog’s breaths per minute rate.[3]


Keeping Track of Your Dog’s Respiratory Rate

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    Use a journal to record your dog’s respiratory rate. Make sure that the journal or piece of paper you use has a space for a date and time, respiratory rate number, and any other comments you might have. Record your dog’s respiratory rate every time you take it, even if you think your dog might be a little excited or hot still. Simply note your dog’s recent activity in the side bar. There are templates online for you to use as well.
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    Download the “Your Dog’s Heart” App. This app allows its users to count and record the resting respiratory rate of your dog. The application is free and easy to use. You can set reminders to take your pets breath rate. The app will record and chart how their respiratory rate changes overtime. You can even put in a veterinarian’s information and have results sent straight to him. If you have family members that are worried about your pet, you can even use the app to post the data to social media (e.g. Facebook or Twitter).[4]
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    Make sure to share this information with your vet. Whenever you go in for your vet visit, make sure that you share your detailed respiratory rate readings with him. It is important — for better or worse — to share this information. Your vet might notice patterns in your dog’s respiratory rate fluctuations that you may not. Sometimes, these signs can be subtle indicators of heart problems.[5]


Knowing When to Visit the Vet

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    Visit the vet if your dog’s respiratory rate exceeds 30 breaths per minute. 15 to 30 is the normal range. This could be a sign of any number of issues ranging from bacterial and viral infections to traumatic injury.[6]
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    Call the vet immediately, if your dog seems to be gasping for air. Serious lung issues may present themselves in such a dramatic way. Punctured or deflated lungs can be caused by a variety of issues and will certainly affect your dog’s respiratory rate.[7]Be sure to call your vet before you actually visit his offices, just in case your dog shouldn’t be moved. If this is the case, your vet will either advise you on what to do or will come to you.
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    Take your dog to the vet if it has an increased respiratory rate combined with other symptoms of illness. Coughing or nasal discharge combined with an increased breathing rate often signal issues with the lungs, which can lead to pneumonia.[8]


How to Make a Dog Throw Up

Most dog owners know all too well that canine companions are naturally curious. Unfortunately, this sometimes extends to their eating habits as well. In certain situations, vomiting can help, but other times, it can actually make things worse. Thus, if your dog has eaten something that you believe to be poisonous or dangerous, you should do the following: 1. Get in contact with professional help. 2. Make the dog vomit only if you are directed to. 3. Take your dog to the vet whether or not you made it vomit.


First Steps

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    If the dog is choking, don’t make it throw up. When a dog is choking, time is of the essence and there are much more useful things you can do. See How to Save a Choking Dog for help with this problem.
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    Call your vet right away. Only a trained veterinarian will have the training and expertise to know when vomiting is appropriate with absolute certainty. This should be your first move as soon as you notice that your dog has eaten something hazardous. Listen to your vet’s instructions and follow them promptly.

    • When you call your vet, you’ll usually be asked for this information:[1]
    • Your dog’s approximate weight.
    • What it ate, how much it ate, and when it ate it.
    • Any medical conditions it may have.
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    If your vet isn’t available, call a help line. Dogs don’t always eat poisonous materials during your vet’s office hours. Luckily, the following help lines are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Note that using these services may cost you a a consultation fee.[2][3]

    • ASPCA Poison Control: 888-426-4435
    • Pet Poison Helpline: 855-213-6680
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    Make sure the thing your dog ate requires vomiting. The animal expert you contact should be able to help you determine when vomiting is necessary. Always follow this person’s instructions — even if they conflict with the ones in this article.In general, vomiting may be advised in the following situations:[4]

    • Your dog ate something that is poisonous.
    • Your dog is healthy.
    • Your dog ate the poisonous substance within about the last two hours.
    • Your dog doesn’t have certain genetic features that make it more likely to inhale its vomit. These include collapsing trachea, abnormal airway, and brachycephaly (having a smooshed-in face — for instance, Boston Terriers and Pugs have this).
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    Don’t induce vomiting when it will cause more harm than good. As noted above, making your pet vomit can be a very bad idea in certain situations. In general, vomiting will not be advised in the following situations:[5]

    • Your dog ate the hazardous substance over two hours ago.
    • Your dog is obviously sick, dazed, distressed, or lethargic.
    • Your dog ate something corrosive, like bleach, acid, drain cleaner, batteries, etc. This can cause burns on the inside of the throat as it comes back out.
    • Your dog ate a hydrocarbons or petroleum distillate, like motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc. This can lead to severe pneumonia if the dog inhales any of the substance when it vomits.


Inducing Vomiting

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    If you can, take your dog outside to prevent a mess. Dogs aren’t often very tidy vomiters — they don’t understand what’s happening to them, so they’ll rarely get all their vomit into a single, tidy pile. This means that it’s usually easiest to simply make your dog throw up outside.

    • If this isn’t an option, grab a garbage bag or two to catch the vomit. You may also want to lay down a tarp or newspaper if you have some handy.
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    If you can, offer your dog a small meal. This isn’t essential, so you can skip this step if you don’t have food handy. However, if your dog hasn’t eaten in the last few hours, this will make it more likely to vomit by making its stomach fuller.[6] You can use its typical dog food for this.

    • Don’t pester your dog if it doesn’t seem to want to eat. Your time is better spent by moving on.
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    Measure one milliliter (mL) of hydrogen peroxide per pound of dog weight. This converts to about two mL per kilogram. The hydrogen peroxide you want is 3%concentration. If you absolutely have to use more concentrated hydrogen peroxide, dilute it with water. If you have to use a less-concentrated hydrogen peroxide, use extra.

    • One tablespoon is approximately 15 mL. One teaspoon is approximately 5 mL.
    • Don’t give more than 45 mL (three tablespoons) at once, even if your dog weighs more than 45 pounds. This can make your dog sick.[7]
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    Squirt the hydrogen peroxide down your dog’s throat. This can be difficult — your dog doesn’t understand the danger it’s in, so it may resist. Your best bet is to use a syringe or a turkey baster aimed at the back of the dog’s throat.[8] Holding your dog, gently work your fingers under its lips and in to its mouth. Gently hold its head in place, aim the syringe or baster, and squirt the hydrogen peroxide all at once.

    • Do your best to get the hydrogen peroxide down, even if your dog doesn’t like it (which it probably won’t). If your vet has directed you to make your dog vomit, your dog’s health is more important than its comfort.
    • If your dog is clenching its teeth, you can sometimes get it to open if you squeeze gently on either side of its jaw near the back.
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    If you can’t get the hydrogen peroxide down, offer it in ice cream. Vets will normally recommend against feeding ice cream to dogs for nutritional reasons. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. Mix the dose of hydrogen peroxide with some vanilla ice cream and offer it to the dog in a bowl. Most dogs will eat this, as the sugary taste of the ice cream does a fairly good job of masking the soapy taste of the chemical.[9]

    • Honey is another good choice if you don’t have any ice cream on hand.
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    Wait for the dog to vomit. Stay by the dog, watching it. Have it walk around with you for a minute or two to get the stomach moving, which helps speed things along.[10]Hydrogen peroxide should irritate the stomach and cause vomiting within 15 minutes or so. Be ready — vomiting may come on quickly.

    • If your dog doesn’t vomit within 15 minutes, you can give it a second dose. If it still hasn’t vomited 15 minutes after that, call the vet or hotline again for instructions.[11]
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    Take the dog to the vet. Whether or not your dog vomits, you should do this. The only exception is if your vet specifically tells you it’s not necessary. Vomiting doesn’t always clear out the entire stomach and it does nothing to remove poison that has already moved on into the intestines. These mean that a vet’s attention may sometimes be necessary to avoid danger, even if your dog seems happy when it’s done vomiting.[12]

    • If you can, collect a small sample of the dog’s vomit to bring to the vet. Your vet may be able to identify it.
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    Protect yourself while cleaning up the vomit. If your dog vomited outside, cleanup may not be terribly difficult — a hose will often get the job done. However, if more hands-on work is required, be sure to take all necessary precautions. Keep in mind that whatever your dog ate may still be in its stomach contents. If this is hazardous to humans, protecting yourself is very important.

    • With this in mind, you’ll want to use thick rubber or latex gloves as you clean up the vomit. If the hazardous material is letting off fumes or the smell is overpowering, a facemask or a builder’s respirator is a very good idea.


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