What Are the Warning Signs of Heatstroke?
Unlike humans, dogs do not have sweat glands and rely on panting to cool themselves off, which is a much less effective way of lowering their internal body temperature. Common warning signs of a heatstroke include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, and neurological complications such as wobbling and/or unresponsiveness to verbal cues.
What Should I Do if My Dog is Suffering from a Heatstroke?
If you observe the any of the above warning signs, immediately bring your pet to a cooler or shaded area. If possible, use a fan to help them cool off, and give them room-temperature water. It may sound strange, but room-temperature water is actually best as it does not constrict the blood vessels like cold water does, allowing your dog to better regulate its internal body temperature.
If more severe symptoms of heatstroke are present, such as extreme difficulties in breathing, vomiting and/or diarrhea, or if your pet has collapsed, take them to the closest emergency veterinary hospital for treatment.
Is it Safe to Take My Dog Outside on a Hot Day?
Hot and humid days can increase the risk of heatstroke—especially for puppies, elderly and overweight dogs, and flat-faced breeds not acclimated to hot climates—such as Pugs and French Bulldogs. While the temperature shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the outdoors with your dog, be sure you provide them with plenty of water and take frequent breaks to allow them to cool down.
Is It Safe to Leave My Dog in the Car while I Run Errands?
Never leave your pet unattended in a car on a hot day, even if it’s only for a few minutes with the windows cracked. The internal temperature inside the vehicle can rise rapidly, and cracked windows do not provide adequate ventilation or cooling, especially in extreme temperatures.
Should I Shave or Cut My Dog’s Hair During the Summer?
For most breeds of dogs, a haircut is a great way to help keep cool in the heat. However, Huskies, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and other breeds of dogs that have a double coat should NOT be shaved, as their fur plays an important role in regulating their internal temperatures and also helps prevents sunburn.
What Is the Treatment Process for Heatstroke in Dogs?
The goals of heatstroke therapy are to safely lower the animal’s body temperature, treat shock, and minimize other possible negative consequences of their exposure to heat. Once admitted to an emergency veterinary hospital, your dog may be given IV fluids, placed under a fan, and have blood work performed.
Can a Dog Survive a Heatstroke?
Dogs suffering from mild heat exhaustion can often make a full recovery with no long-term lasting effects. However, an estimated 50% of dogs suffering from severe heatstroke do not survive, so it is critical that pet owners be on the lookout for early warning signs and react quickly to keep their pet cool!