Heat Stroke in Dogs

As the weather warms up and the sun comes out, here are some tips and info on how to recognize and prevent heat stroke in your dog.

 

How to Prevent Heat Stroke

 

Limit exercise in hot and humid weather. When your dog is outside, allow access to plenty of fresh water and shade. If your dog has more energy and needs more exercise, consider walking them in the early morning or late evening, when it is cooler. You can also take them swimming or allow them to play in a sprinkler.

Some dogs have a tendency to focus on an activity and won’t realize when they need to stop. It is up to you as the owner to make sure they have frequent breaks to cool down.

Never leave your dog in a parked car. Even with the windows down, the interior of a car can heat up extremely quickly.

 

Who’s at Risk?

  • Breeds with thick coats or long hair
  • Very young or old dogs
  • Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds
  • Obese or overweight dogs
  • Dogs with breathing problems or heart conditions

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Excessive panting and/or drooling
  • Confusion, disorientation, dizziness, glazed eyes
  • Bright red or blue gums/tongue
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fever
  • Seizures

 

How to Treat Heatstroke

  1. Immediately move your dog to a cool area (shade or AC)
  2. Contact your veterinarian and advise them of your dog’s symptoms, they may want you to bring them in
  3. If a vet visit is not necessary, try to cool your dog down by allowing them to swim or bathe in cool water. You can also use cool, wet cloths on their neck, ears, armpits, and between their legs. Gently wet their ears and paw pads.
  4. Give your dog plenty of cool, fresh water. Do not feed ice cubes as it will cause a too rapid of a body temperature change

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