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Signs of Heat Stroke In Pets

We are getting a big heat wave this weekend and in order to keep people informed for prevention of problems with your pets, we have wrote up a quick informative for you to stay aware!!

Signs of Heat Stroke In Your Pets! Keep them cool in the hot summer months and pay attention to the signs of sickness!

Heat Stroke!

To protect your pet from heat stroke,  use the same precautions you would for yourself. Never leave your dog in the car, even for a moment while you dash into the store! The temperature will rise quickly and can reach over 107 degrees inside the car, even if it’s in the mid 80’s outside. Always make sure there is a shaded area when they’re outside to get under, and plenty of water to keep them from dehydrating. Heat stroke can be brought on by activity as well as confinement outside in the heat. During the hottest part of the day, avoid walks and exercising with your dog. Hot pavement and sidewalks can burn their paws, and they, too, can get sunburned, especially on their nose and ears, especially if they have short fur.

Signs of Heat Stroke

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to get your dog inside and contact your veterinarian, especially if his body temperature is over 105 degrees:

  •  Excessive panting
  •  Labored breathing that may signal upper airway obstruction
  •  Bright red mucous membranes in gums or eyes and/or bright red tongue
  • Dry or sticky tongue and gums
  •  Lethargy and weakness
  •  High body temperature (check with a rectal thermometer)
  • Increased heart rate
  • vomiting
  •  Collapsing and/or seizures, which can lead to a coma

signs of heat stroke

Panting doesn’t always do the trick

Dogs cool themselves by panting. Panting pulls air across the membranes of the nose and tongue and cools by evaporation, but panting works only for short periods. Prolonged panting endangers the metabolic system. High humidity interferes with the ability of panting to cool the body. Panting rapidly can lead to hyperventilation. They also cool themselves through their paws, but if they are in a hot area, they won’t be able to cool themselves through this means, and possibly burn their pads, so please keep them off hot pavement or gravel! Protect their paws! If you were walking barefoot, imagine how quickly you’d burn your feet!


Hydration is important for both you and your dog when you’re outside. When you go for a walk, you usually carry a water bottle, right? Dogs can’t drink out of a water bottle, but they make a collapsible bowl that is easy to carry and you can share your water so they can keep hydrated too! I carry a collapsible cup in my car when traveling as well as bottled water. It’s just that simple! There’s various types and sizes, and they’re portable! This particular one has a clip to attach it to a belt loop so it’s hands free, and always available to make sure when you stop for a drink, your dog can have one too.

collapsable water dishes

Collapsible clip on bowls

Another thing we use is a cooling bandana. They make them for our pets, too! When you’re out walking with your pet, consider using a cooling bandana on your dog as well as wearing one yourself. Again, they come in different sizes and types. I don’t recommend soaking a bandanna with water, for you or your pet, because when you’re overheated, it can cool you down too rapidly, and if you have one on before you head out, the heat can not only evaporate the water, but it can also turn it hotter, and that defeats the purpose of trying to keep cool!  You can make a fashion statement and have a ‘Cool’ Dog, or just use a cooling collar. Here’s just 2 examples I found online.

Cool dog bandana

The ‘Cool Dog’ Bandana

cooling collar

Cooling Dog Collar

If it’s too hot in your house for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Consider a cooling pad for them to lay on. Truckers use them on their seats, and in their sleeper compartment on their beds when pulled over for the night, and my Trucker hubby says the compartment gets really hot, and they make a big difference! They are pressure activated, tough material so they are puncture free and made of non-toxic cooling gel. Yes, they make them for our pets, too, and come in different sizes, easy to wipe off and easy to carry!

A cool dog is a happy dog

A cool dog is a happy dog!

These are just a few examples to help fight off heat stroke. You still need to use caution and check for signs and symptoms before your furkid does start to suffer from heat. Like I stated, we use various things to combat the heat ourselves, and our pets not only wear a coat of fur, but can’t let us know they’re overheating or dehydrating! I use similar items to protect myself, and my furkids are very important part of my life, so I’d rather prevent them from a heat stroke than lose them to one!

Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for our furred family too!

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