If you’ve had heatstroke before, you’ll know it sucks. For the last few years, UK summers have been getting hotter and hotter, so we’ve pulled together a few tips to help prevent your dog from getting heatstroke.
What is heatstroke and how do dogs get it?
Heatstroke occurs when the body’s temperature regulation system fails during exposure to excessive heat. It can result in fever, nausea and extreme drowsiness. When it’s hot humans pass the heat by sweating through glands all over the body. Dogs only have sweat glands in the pads of their paws, so their way to regulate heat is by panting. Sometimes panting is not enough for thermo-regulation, especially for doggos with long fur, who have an increased risk of suffering heatstroke.
Symptoms of heatstroke:
- Listlessness; not wanting to play or go out for a walk
- Excessive panting, shortness of breath
How to treat your dog if they have heatstroke:
If your dog has heatstroke, you need to cool down their head and ‘armpits’ by running them under cold water. Don’t force them to drink as this can make them feel even more sick. If you’re really worried about your pooch, it’s always best to take them to the vet.
How to prevent heatstroke:
1. Do not expose your dog to high temperatures, both outside and inside. If your house is particularly warm, buy your pup a cooling mat, and let them play with ice cubes or ice packs.
2. Ensure your pup always has access to fresh water. Keep their bowl topped up and take plenty of water out with you on walks.
3. Try not to take your dog out during the hottest part of the day. If you can’t avoid it, don’t play chase or fetch, no matter how much they may want to!
4. Never leave your dog alone in the car; not even for a couple of minutes.