Dealing with Heat Stroke in Dogs

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Heat stroke in dogs can be deadly. It’s the summer time and each day it gets a little bit warmer. The best way to prevent heat stroke in dogs is to adequately prepare for any hot environments your dog may be in. At the dog park, we always bring a jug of water and a bowl. Most of the dogs share out of the same bowl. Some dog parks are awesome though, and have water spigots!

If your bringing your dog out in any kind of hot weather bring lots of extra water with you. We keep a large bowl in the car so if we’re headed out in the heat, all we need to do is grab a gallon jug of spring water.

WebMd says that these are the most common reasons for heat stroke in dogs:

  • Being left in a car in hot weather
  • Exercising strenuously in hot, humid weather
  • Being a brachycephalic breed, especially a Bulldog, Pug, or Pekingese
  • Suffering from a heart or lung disease that interferes with efficient breathing
  • Being muzzled while put under a hair dryer
  • Suffering from a high fever or seizures
  • Being confined on concrete or asphalt surfaces
  • Being confined without shade and fresh water in hot weather
  • Having a history of heat stroke

“Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red. The saliva is thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits,” says WebMd.

Here are some solutions they recommend for cooling your dog off (getting their rectal temperature below 104 degrees):

  • spraying the dog with a garden hose
  • immersing him in a tub of cool water (not ice water) for up to two minutes
  • place the wet dog in front of an electric fan
  • cool packs applied to the groin area
  • wiping his paws off with cool water.

Don’t cool your dog below 103 degrees at this point because you can put your dog into shock. Dry your dog off!

If you’re running errands where you’ll be leaving your dog in the car for more than 5 minutes, I beg you to please consider leaving your dog home. Cars heat up like ovens in the sun. It’s very easy to get caught up with what your doing and forget about your pooch.

Monitor your dog closely in the heat, especially at dog parks when they’re too excited to drink water. Dogs will become lethargic in the heat. If you start to notice this, give them a break and adequate water.

I hope you and your dog have a safe and fun-filled summer!


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