ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dogs and Heatsroke! Know the Signs!

Updated on January 22, 2014
Know the signs of heatstroke! The sun can be deadly to your dog!
Know the signs of heatstroke! The sun can be deadly to your dog!

Ahhhh…the good old summertime! There is nothing like going for a walk with your dog on a wonderful summer day. Though many dogs handle the summer heat well, they can suffer from heatstroke...so be careful and know the signs! Heatstroke occurs when your dog's normal body mechanisms can't keep its temperature in a safe range. Humans sweat in order to regulate their body temperature. Dogs on the other hand do not. In order for a dog to cool down, it pants! Panting allows them to exchange cooler "outside air" with the warm, humid air that is in their lungs. When the outside air is actually hotter than the air that is currently in their lungs, heatstroke can occur. Certain dogs are more prone to "over-heating" than others. Breeds that are susceptible to heatstroke include Bulldogs, Shar-Peis, Boston Terriers, Pugs, and other dogs that have "smooshed" faces or short noses.

Know the Signs of Heatstroke!

So, what are the signs of a dog suffering from heatstroke? Well, there are many…so be on the look-out if you take your dog outside on a hot day! Signs include vomiting, warm or hot skin, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, staggering, loud panting, high fever, anxious expression, collapsing and disorientation. If you believe that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, it is important to get him to the veterinarian as soon as possible! If you are unable to get your dog to the vet in a short amount of time, stay calm, there are a few things you can do to assist your four-legged friend.

Always wise to have a dog health book handy!

What to Do!

  • First of all, the faster you respond to your dog the better! Move him to a shady area, out of direct sunlight.
  • Apply cool water to the pads of your dog's feet, stomach and inner thighs.
  • If possible, cool your dog down with a garden hose. DO NOT submerge him in freezing, cold water as this may cause a shock to his system.
  • If he is able, allow him to drink as much cold water as he wants. If possible, give your dog some Gatorade or Pedialyte. These drinks will help to rehydrate your friend and will cool him off from the inside out. Gatorade will help to replace much needed electrolytes that your dog may have lost due to dehydration. Not all dogs will drink Gatorade…but it is worth a shot!
  • If he is able to walk…keep him moving! It is important to keep your dog's blood flowing as he cools down!
  • DO NOT cover your dog with a wet blanket or towel. Many people think that covering your dog with a towel that has been submerged in cool water will help your pup to cool down. Actually, all this does is heat him up more! By covering your dog, you will only create a sauna like effect…and that is not what you want or what your dog needs!
  • As soon as possible, take your dog to the veterinarian. If the veterinary clinic that you frequent is closed, take him to the closest emergency vet.
  • Watch for shock! Signs of shock include the acute onset of fatigue and or weakness, lack of responsiveness, light and or fluttering heartbeat, rapid and or shallow breathing, grayish gums, and  dilated pupils. Dogs with severe heatstroke that actually go into shock are at risk of dying! If you suspect shock, take your dog the emergency vet IMMEDIATELY!

If possible, cool your dog down with the garden hose!
If possible, cool your dog down with the garden hose!

How to PREVENT Heatstroke!

So now that we have discussed the signs of heatstroke, and what to do if you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, let's discuss how to PREVENT it in the first place! After all, knowledge is power!

  • First and foremost, NEVER and when I say NEVER I mean, NEVER...leave your dog in a car on a hot summer day unattended! The temperature in a car on a hot summer day can rise to DEADLY levels within minutes! Even if you crack the windows, it is not wise to leave your dog in the car. Every year, dogs DIE because of irresponsible owners…don't fall into this category!
  • If you plan to go for a walk with your dog on a summer afternoon, bring water and a collapsible doggie water bowl. Keeping your dog hydrated will help him to maintain a cool body temperature!
  • Old and or overweight pets are at the highest risk for heatstroke. If you have a dog that falls into one or both of these categories, don't even bother taking him for a long walk in the heat. Senior and overweight dogs should be kept inside…in the air conditioning! Obviously, you will need to walk your fat senior friend at some point so play it safe and take him out for short walks during the early morning and evening hours (be sure to keep these walks short!).
  • Give your dog breaks when outside. Though your Labrador may want to play Frisbee for hours, it just isn't safe to do so when the temperatures are soaring. Allow your dog to play, however, make him take mandatory "shade and water" breaks.
  • Be smart. If it is HOT outside and YOU are uncomfortable…then most likely your dog is too. When temperatures soar REALLY high, make walks short and sweet. Though your dog may not be happy, it is the smartest thing to do (besides, YOU know best, not your dog!). Prevention is KEY and Knowledge is power!

When it is hot outside, make your dog take cool-down breaks so that he does not overheat!
When it is hot outside, make your dog take cool-down breaks so that he does not overheat!

What have we learned?

So what have we learned? Dogs are MUCH MORE susceptible to heatstroke than humans (after all, they are the ones wearing the fur coats in the summertime!). Each year, dogs DIE from heatstroke, so it is very important that you know the signs and what to do should your dog over-heat! It is important that you stay calm, yet act responsibly and quickly! Never leave your dog in a car unattended and if possible, walk your furry friend during the early morning hours or during the evening (it is cooler during these times). As I mentioned before, KNOWLEDGE is power. If you know how to prevent heatstroke in the first place, I'd say you are ahead of the game! Here's to you and your dog having a wonderful, fun and SAFE summer!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 

      9 years ago

      great hub,..When I lived in Las Vegas I worked at a Vet Hospital,..I was astonished at the number of dogs that had a heat stroke. I was even more amazed at how serious and deadly this is. I can't count how many I seen die or had to be put down due to exstesive brain damage due to a heat stroke. And the sad part is,..that it can be prevented.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)