Heatstroke in dogs is a real and serious danger, and, in some instances, can result in death. Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat and so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. With the Las Vegas summer temperatures upon us, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog and to follow some basic safety tips to protect them from the heat.
10 common signs of heatstroke in dogs:
1. Heavy or prolonged panting
2. Excessive drooling
3. Labored or difficult breathing
4. Whining or barking for no apparent reason
5. Vomiting and/or diarrhea
6. Lack of coordination
9. Uncontrolled muscle tremors
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, IMMEDIATE action is necessary:
• Move the dog to a cool or air-conditioned area, if possible.
• Expedite the cooling process by wetting the dog with cool water. Do NOT immerse the dog in ice or ice-cold water.
• Dog (wet or dry) can be placed in front of an electric fan, if available.
• Cold packs can be applied to the dog’s groin or paw pads.
• Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol can be applied to paw pads, under the front armpits or in the groin, flank area.
• Contact your veterinarian immediately!
Tips to avoid heatstroke in dogs:
• Never leave your dog in a parked car (even if the windows are cracked).
• Schedule walks and visits with your dog for the early morning or late evening hours when it’s cooler, and remember that the pavement can burn paw pads. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for theirs!
• Make sure your dog has access to plenty of cool, fresh water throughout the day.
• If you’re spending time outdoors, make sure your dog has a shady area to relax.
• Be cautious when using metal bowls for water. In the sunlight, they can heat up quickly and burn your pup’s mouth.
• Be particularly careful with short nosed dogs such as bull breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs, and those that are overweight. These dogs can get heatstroke simply by running around.
Knowing the signs of heatstroke in dogs and how to act, and following a few simple preventative tips, you can make sure your dog has a safe, fun, and healthy summer!
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