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It’s starting to be ‘that time of year’ again. Which means heatstroke in dogs is upon us.

It’s getting hot. With the warmer weather now starting to kick into gear, we all want to get outdoors more with our pet.

Going to the beach or park or maybe even camping.

Dog fur is excellent for the colder weather; it’s like walking around with a blanket on all day. Nice and cozie.

I skip the clip for Harley in winter. Harley needs to be kept rugged up during the colder months, she is so small and feels the cold.
heatstroke in dogs
But now that the weather is changing and Harley is more active during the day (who knew she could be more active than she already is).

I’ve noticed that it takes her longer to calm herself down and stop panting. I’ve booked her in at my local vet to get groomed, so don’t worry.

Because Harley is so small and active, I tend to worry about heatstroke. She loves to be outside, and she would keep playing until she couldn’t walk if she had the choice.

Heatstroke in dogs is a serious threat to a dogs happy and healthy lifestyle. The sun can be cruel.

I’ve created a guide to keep your furbaby safe on hot days.

Let’s get started.

Heatstroke in Dogs

Dogs eliminate heat from their body by panting. Heatstroke can arise when panting isn’t cooling their body down quick enough. Their body temperature rises and can be fatal if not treated or corrected quickly.

Causes of Heatstroke

Any environment where it is hot, humid or lack of fresh air and your dog is unable to regulate their body temperature sufficiently.
Areas such as:

  • Lack of shade
  • Direct sunlight
  • Locked in car
  • Excessive play time

Signs of Heatstroke

  • Body temperature higher than 40 degrees
  • Excessive saliva
  • Excessive panting
  • Distressed
  • Red gums
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

If your dog is showing signs of heatstroke, you will need to act fast. You must remove your dog from the hot environment and cool their body temperature down to normal level.

Remove your Dog from the Hot Environment

cool your dog down immediately by putting them into a cold bath, placing cold, wet towels over their entire body or running a cold hose over their body.
heatstroke in dogs

Maintain Cold Airflow

Once you have wet your dog with cold water, you will need to maintain airflow. Run air conditioning or use a fan to keep fresh air circulating.

Drink Water

Try and get your dog to drink cool water. By getting your dog to drink cool water, this will also help reduce body temperature and start getting hydrated.

Take your Dog to the Vet Immediately

While home care of heatstroke significantly improves the recovery, it is not enough.

Once you have initiated first aid, by helping to reduce the heatstroke. Do not delay or think that your dog will be ok. Take your dog to the vet immediately for assessment.

Your dog may need additional help such as IV (Intravenous Fluids) to cool down the body and regulate body temperature. Also, it will maintain blood pressure and help speed up recovery.

Prevention

    Heatstroke in dogs is preventable. By following my tips below, you will have one happy pooch all year round.

  • Provide shaded areas if outdoors
  • Plenty of fresh water situated in the shade
  • Groomed regularly to maintain short hair
  • Avoid walking or playing in the middle of the day where the sun is at its peak
  • Do not leave your dog in the car
  • Pat down your dog with a wet towel after walking or playing

It’s all about being prepared and knowing what to do if in the event heatstoke was to happen to your furbaby. Now that you are equiped with the information you can have a super pawsome time enjoying the sunny weather.

Hugs,

Gina and Harley

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