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How to spot the signs of heatstroke

Dogs die in hot cars, very quickly, but they don’t have to be in an enclosed area to suffer dog heatstroke, they can overheat whilst out walking too.

This is because dogs struggle to cool down because they can only sweat through their paw pads and pant to lose heat. But if they are walking on tarmac or hot ground then this only serves to warm up their pads even more.

How to prevent dog heat stroke

It’s sensible to take steps to prevent your dog from succumbing to heatstroke by:

  • Avoiding enclosed and poorly ventilated areas such as cars and conservatories
  • Avoiding strenuous exercise during hot weather by waiting until the cooler part of the day for their walks
  • Making sure they have access to plenty of cold water and provide shade in gardens and outdoor areas

Spotting the symptoms of dog heat stroke

As a dog owner, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of dog heat stroke in your pet. Look out for the following:

  • Red gums (blue as the condition worsens)
  • Excessive panting
  • Distressed behaviour
  • Very high heart rate
  • Increased salivation
  • They may go in to shock – collapse, unable to stand, become unresponsive
  • Seizures

Heatstroke in dogs can lead to death if untreated. If your pet is suffering from the any of signs of the condition listed above, it is important that you seek medical treatment from your local vet immediately.

What to do if you suspect heat stroke in your dog

You should contact your local vet immediately if you suspect your dog might be suffering from heat stroke. In the meantime, you can also be administering your own first aid procedures:

  • Take your dog to cool area and apply cold, wet towels or sheets directly to their skin (abdominal area, groin, head and neck)
  • Never submerge your dog fully in cold water
  • Allow your dog to drink water, if they are gulping it, offer small amounts frequently

These first aid procedures are a short term measure whilst you get veterinary help for your animal. If you have any concerns, please contact an emergency vet immediately.

Our emergency helpline is open 24 hours a day: 01924 465592