Heatstroke In Dogs ...
aka, Hot Dogs In The Summer Time!

Heatstroke in dogs occurs when a dog's temperature reaches a dangerous level and he has no way to dump the heat - such as moving to a shady spot, access to water etc.

When the temperature's rising, as well as the humidity, your pet wants you to know all about how to handle this condition because it can easily become fatal. 

Not to worry - by the time you finish reading this article you're going to be hip on the subject and ready to step in if needed!

dog lying down in bedExhausted Dog

Heatstroke, also known as hypothermia or heat exhaustion, can come on quite quickly just from a dog's normal activities and once it does, swift action is needed to bring down the temperature.

Unlike humans, Rover has few ways to dump heat and cool off. Here are some ways you can help.

Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs

Heatwaves or just very warm summer days, are times when dogs need special attention. A few of the following pet safety measures may save your dog's life on these occasions:

  • Provide a fresh water supply that cannot be knocked over
  • Ask a neighbor to check and/or refresh water if you are gone all day
  • Provide significant shaded area away from hot concrete
  • Delay unnecessary activity, such as walks, until sundown
  • No car trips with the dog on warm days. Cars heat up quickly even if parked in the shade.
  • Never tie up a dog

In short, to avoid heatstroke a dog needs to be hydrated, shaded and cooled off by sufficient ventilation.

Typically the biggest threat to heatstroke for pets is when they are left in cars where temperatures can rise very quickly.

The Symptoms of Canine Heatstroke

Being aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs will enable you to act quickly if you spot your dog or someone else's dog in danger:

  • Rapid panting and restless behavior
  • Abundantly salivating
  • Bright red lips and tongue
  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation - not responding to you

In general, an appearance of a thirsty dog in distress.

If you have ever hiked the Grand Canyon on a hot day, as I have, you too may have experienced some of the above symptoms!

Treatment For Heatstroke

  • Act quickly to get your dog to a cool place
  • Get the temperature down by:
    having the dog stand in some cool water for a few minutes at a time
  • Wetting him down gradually with a hose or wet towels, starting at the feet and working up to the armpits and rest of the body
  • Optionally, use a fan if available and/or necessary, until the distress subsides
  • Provide water in small doses so that it is not regurgitated

If condition appears more severe and your dog looks very weak, or there is any doubt in your mind, don't hesitate to call the vet.

Products To Keep Dogs Cool

Recommended Reading

To help you be more confident as a dog owner and learn to recognize various dog health conditions, I also suggest getting a copy of Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats.

Written by a renowned veterinary authority, this reference contains invaluable information about using natural remedies as well as mainstream solutions for dog problems.

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