How to Treat Your Dog’s Heatstroke

The temperature doesn’t have to be very high for a dog to suffer heatstroke. Dogs are descended from wolves, animals that live in northern climes and thus have not developed natural mechanisms to fight the heat. As a result, dogs aren’t very good a heat control.

Breeds with flat faces, such as Bulldogs and Pugs, can suffer heatstroke even on mild days. Puppies are more susceptible to heatstroke than adult dogs.

Never leave your dog in the car in the summer, even with the windows down. And never leave your dog in a yard without shade in the summer. More dogs die of heatstroke in cars than any other way.

Even on a mild day, the temperature in a car in the sun can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. Every year, thousands of dogs die of heatstroke after being left in cars for “just a minute.”

A dog suffering from heatstroke pants heavily and salivates excessively. Her eyes may be glazed and she may stagger or act listless. The dog’s pulse will be rapid and weak.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, you must act quickly:

  1. Move the dog to a cool area indoors or at least to the shade.

  2. Submerge her in cool water (not ice water).

  3. Apply cold compresses to her head.

    Take her temperature to monitor her body’s cooling. A dog’s normal temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.8 degrees. The temperature can rise significantly after exercise, but it should return to normal within 20 minutes.

  4. When her temperature reaches 103 degrees remove her from the water and dry her off.

  5. Encourage but do not force her to drink water.

  6. Get her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

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