Heatstroke and what to do

Its hot, really hot ! Humans can cope with heat better than dogs, firstly we can turn on the air con or a fan but we can also sweat. The sweat on our bodies absorbs our heat and as it evaporates we are able to keep our body temperature and normal as possible, Any animal that sweats is able to cope better in the heat and keep going for longer. This of course is not true for our dogs, cats, rabbits etc who do not have sweat glands, or if they do they are very limited, for example on their paws. Instead they pant. The wet surface of a tongue has the same method for evaporating heat but over a much smaller surface. Flat faced dogs, overweight dogs, young or old are all at greater risk of heat-stroke.

The best way to keep a dog cool is to give them cold drinks (putting ice cubes in water is fine) keep them indoors, in the shade, walk early morning or evening or don’t even walk them at all. As we all know they will never die from missing one walk but they could die from heatstroke.

The UK Kennel club has a great article on heatstroke and as a trusted organisation you can rely on their information. If it is hot and you think your dog may be affected look out for the following

  • Excessive panting
  • Breathing problems, particularly in flat-faced dogs
  • Tiredness, stiffness or an unwillingness to move
  • Dribbling
  • Being Sick or having diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Collapsing or having a fit

If your dog does overheat follow the link below for information on what to do but

  • Firstly move them somewhere cool and phone your vet.
  • If you can, lay them on a cold floor and give them some water.
  • You can pour water or you dogs body concentrating on their stomach, neck on the inside of their legs to cool them quickest.
  • Once they are wet you can fan them or use air-conditioning to cool them down further.

Here is the link to the UK Kennel Club information on how to take care of your dogs this summer.