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Heatstroke in Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and First Aid

Like you, your furry friend can be susceptible to the hot summer sun. High summer temperatures can drastically affect your dog and lead to heatstroke. Though almost all pets are prone to heatstroke, dogs are at a much higher risk as they love exploring outdoors. Below are several ways to help notice and prevent heatstroke in your dog according to Bridewell Hilltop Kennels, a premier dog boarding company in Petaluma.

Tips to Prevent Heatstroke in Dogs

  1. Create a shady area in your backyard. Encourage your furry friend to stay in the shade.
  2. Do not over-exercise your dog. This will help your dog preserve its energy and prevent stress.
  3. Keep senior dogs and those with health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and respiratory problems in the shade as even normal activities can stress them out.
  4. Avoid taking your dog to beaches and areas with concrete and asphalt pavements as they reflect heat. Avoid places with limited access to shade.
  5. Give frequent baths to your dog. If you have a swimming pool, allow your furry friend to swim in it. To help your dog beat the heat, spray them with a hose.
  6. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh, clean, and cool water at all times.
  7. Never leave your four-legged friend in a hot parked car, even for just a moment.
  8. Let your dog relax and chill with you in an air conditioned room.

Common Heatstroke Symptoms in Dogs

Here are some common symptoms of heatstroke to watch out for:

  1. Increased heart rate and salivation
  2. Fatigue and dizziness
  3. Depression
  4. A change in tongue color (from pink to bright red)
  5. Gum discoloration (bluish, bright red, purple or gray gums)
  6. Sticky, thicker than usual saliva
  7. Excessive panting
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Frequent vomiting
  10. Muscle tremors

If you wait too long to consult your dog’s vet, your furry friend may start having seizures and slip into a coma. It is incredibly important to treat your dog as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. If you do not see improvement within a reasonable period of time, a trip to the veterinarian may be required.

Treatment and Aftercare

  1. Remove them immediately from the hot area.
  2. Wet your furry friend thoroughly with cool water. Use lukewarm water for small dogs. This will help lower their body temperature.
  3. Increase air movements around your dog with a fan.
  4. Avoid cooling too quickly as it can give rise to other medical conditions.
  5. Check your dog’s temperature frequently.
  6. Give your furry friend clean and cool water.
  7. Even if the symptoms subside and your dog appears to be recovering, take it to the vet to have them thoroughly checked to minimize any additional adverse effects.

Bridewell Hilltop is a leading dog boarding facility in Petaluma. Our kennels and cattery are equipped with modern amenities to ensure comfort. We keep a close eye on our guests’ health and go the extra mile to make them feel at home. To learn more about us, call us at (415) 897-5471.