How to prevent dog heat strokes this Summer

 

Heat strokes are not just a human thing. Any dog can suffer from a heat strokes, some breeds more than others. Here are our top tips to recognise and prevent dog heat strokes.

What is a heat stroke and what causes it?

Heat stroke is a state of hyperthermia. Your dog's body temperature rises above the normal range, exceeding their ability to lose heat. It's a very dangerous condition that can damage your dog's tissues and organs. 

Warm and humid environments can cause heat strokes. When both air temperature and humidity increase, your dog's temperature rises. Indeed, a dog cools off by panting and their saliva evaporates. If the air is humid, saliva can't evaporate and dogs can't cool off. 

Lack of shade, dehydration and excessive exercise in warm weather also increase the risk of heat stroke. 

Which dogs are at risk of heat stroke?

Any dog can suffer from heat stroke, regardless of their age. However, some breeds are more at risk than others, such as pugs, boxers and bulldogs. Indeed, they have airway restrictions due to their short nose and flat face, which means that they can't cool themselves off as much as other breeds. 

Dogs with dark coats, suffering from obesity or having previously had a heat stroke are also in the high risk category. 

What are the heat strokes signs to look out for?

These are the main signs indicating that your dog's body temperature is increasing and that they might be developing a heat stroke:

  • Panting, Drooling, salivating
  • Very red or pale gums, bright red tongue
  • Increased heart rate, irregular breathing distress
  • Vomiting
  • Signs of mental confusion, dizziness
  • Collapsing

What to do?

If you dog is showing these signs, you should immediately try to cool them off. 

Put them in a cooler environment and near a fan if possible. 
Apply cool water onto their fur and skin and wet down the area they are lying on. However, don't use ice-cold water. 

After these home-emergency measures are taken, take your pet to the vets. Even if your dog seems better, always have them checked. 

How to avoid dog heat stroke?

The good news is, you absolutely can avoid any risk of heat stroke by taking a few simple measures during Summer.

At home:
Maintain a cool and ventilated space for your dog. Give them access to plenty of fresh water all the time and make sure they drink enough. 

When commuting:
Never let your dog in your car as the temperature rises very quickly. 

Outside:
Avoid long walks and periods of exercise animals in hot weather. Keep their paws away from hot sand, concrete or any other areas where heat is reflected. 
Walk them before the warmest hours of the day and find shade areas. 

These simple precautions can really help you and your dog enjoy a heat stroke free Sumer and keep your pooch happy and healthy!