Warm weather warning: Heatstoke is a real risk to pets
To help avoid unnecessary discomfort for your pet when the mercury rises, be aware of the signs of heat stroke.
Your pet can’t sweat to cool off like a human can. Heatstroke happens when your pet can no longer regulate his or her own body temperature.
Know the Main Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs
- Fast heavy panting
- Excessive drooling
- Excessive thirst
- Weakness, staggering, vomiting
Is Your Pet High Risk?
Take extra care with overweight pets, dogs with heavy coats and flat-faced breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs, as they are more likely to suffer from heatstroke. Dogs with underlying medical conditions may also be at risk. Speak with our team for advice the next time you visit our practice to find out if your dog is at risk. Even if your dog is in the best of health, they can become overheated if left in an enclosed space.
What You Can Do
NEVER leave your dog in a parked car on a warm day. Even with the windows opened two inches, a dog can die in as little as 15 minutes on a hot day. If you see a dog locked in a parked car on a hot day, displaying any of the above signs, you can call 999 for help. Check out our full infographic Dogs Die in Hot Cars for more info on the effects of heat on dogs.
It’s not just hot cars that are a risk to your pets, any unventilated area, even a room within your home or garage could become hot enough to cause heat stroke.
Tips for Hot Days
- Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day
- Provide lots of cool drinking water
- Make sure all pets have a cool, shaded area to rest
- Wrap an ice pack in a towel for your pet to lie on
- Bathe your pet in a kids paddling pool to cool them down
- Place a wet flannel / facecloth on the forehead or use it to sponge down the body.
Emergency First Aid
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, the most important thing to do is get them into the shade quickly and to a vets as quickly as possible. Dogs need to have their body temperature lowered gradually. Attempting to cool your dog down quickly by immersing them in cold water can lead to shock. Instead, place wet towels on the dog to cool him or her slowly.
Call your local White Cross Vets practice for advice if you find yourself in this situation, our team are here to support you.
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