Dogs do not sweat through their skin like humans – they release heat primarily by panting and they sweat through the foot pads and nose. If a dog cannot effectively expel heat, the internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog’s temperature reaches 106°, damage to the body’s cellular system and organs may become irreversible. Unfortunately, too many dogs succumb to heat stroke when it could have been avoided. Learn how to recognize the signs of heat stroke and prevent it from happening to your dog.
Here are some signs of heat stroke in dogs–
- Heavy panting and being unable to calm down, even when lying down.
- Your pet’s gums may be brick red, they may have a fast pulse rate, or they may not be able to get up.
- If you think your pet has a heat stroke, take their temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, you should cool your animal down by moving to a cool place in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.
- If your pet is unsteady on its feet and you have moved it to a cooler location, you can start cooling it by placing cool water on the feet. Rubbing alcohol on the skin of your pet’s stomach (with a fan blowing on the pet) can also aid in cooling.
- While these steps are in progress, have someone call your veterinarian so that they can determine if you should bring your pet in for treatment.
How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs
- Always provide a shaded area for your dog while he is outside during the day.
- Along with the shade, always have plenty of water. Provide a large bowl with cool, clean water. Provide more than the dog usually drinks in a day. It is better for her to have too much than not enough. If your dog is going to be outside a long time, you can put some ice in the bowl to keep it cool for a while or even freeze a bowl of water the night before. Or, some pet stores and Amazon sells a drinking faucet for about $6 that you can attach to the outside spigot and will turn on when your dog licks it.
- If it is hot outside, limit your dog’s outdoor time. The hottest time of day is between 10 and 4. If you are home, let him come inside and spend some quality time with you. Plus, you can work on teaching your dog a new trick.
- Put a kiddie pool in the yard and let your dog go “swimming”.
- If you are taking your dog on a car trip, never leave your dog in the car unattended. If you just can’t leave home without your dog, take a spare set of car keys and leave your car running with the A/C on. Bring a travel bowl for water. You can pick these up at pet stores or Amazon also.
Enjoy your summer and keep your furry friend cool this summer.