As the weather gets warmer in the UK dog owners need to be mindful of heat stroke. The number of dogs visiting the vets increases during the warmer months, due to this heat exhaustion or heat stroke. While these issues are common during the summer, it can also occur at any time of the year even if the weather is cool. Fortunately, there are key warning signs you can look out for in your dog to know if they are overheating.
What Signs Should I Look For?
- Panting (worsening as heat stroke becomes more severe)
- Drooling (more than normal)
- Acting agitated and restless
- Change in colour of the gums or tongue (going very red or pale can both be signs)
- Rapid increase in heart rate and trouble breathing
- Clear dizziness and issues moving around
- Acting lethargic and being weak on feet
- Muscle spasms and tremors
- Struggling to produce regular amount of urine
How To Treat Heat Stroke In Dogs?
If your dog is suffering from heat stress contact your vet immediately. This is important even if your dog does not seem seriously ill as the condition can worsen rapidly. Unfortunatly many dog owners don’t even realise their dog is overheating and may only seek help at the eleventh hour.
We recommend following these four steps:
- Move your dog to a cool, shaded area
- Pour cool (but not cold) water over them, or soak a towel and wrap it around them. Cold water may cause shock so it is best avoided.
- Get your dog to drink cool water slowly but often
- Contact a vet as soon as possible!
How To Prevent Heat Stroke In Dogs
Heat stroke is a serious condition but it is usually preventable:
Always ensure that your dog has access to shade any time that they are outdoors. When temperatures are high try to limit the amount of sun and heat your dog is exposed to.
If for example, you have a day at the beach it is a good idea to take a parasol along to ensure your dog has guaranteed access to shade. Things like cooling pads can also be very useful to prevent heat exhaustion.
A cooling pad is filled with a gel and is activated by the weight and pressure of your dog sitting on them. As soon as your pooch stretches out on their mat the cooling process begins and overheating is prevented.
Equally as important as shade is that your dog has access to fresh water. During periods of warm weather, be prepared for your dog to drink more water than usual as this is vital for them in the heat.
Know The Risks That Lead To Heat Stroke!
All dogs are at risk of heat stroke however there are certain breeds more prone to it than others. If your pet is in one of these at risk categories keep an extra watchful eye on them during hotter weather:
- Obese and overweight dogs can be more likely to experience heat exhaustion.
- Dogs with respiratory issues are more likely to suffer from heat stroke.
- Older dogs are at more risk of this condition.
- Certain breeds of dog are at more risk of heat stroke. Particularly brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds.
Never Leave Your Dog In The Car
Even on cool days the temperature in a locked car can reach a dangerous level and your dog could overheat. Cracking a window will do little to prevent a serious case of heat stroke.
Joii Pet Care
Heat stroke isn’t the only risk to your dog during the summer months. So it’s reassuring to know that you can have accessible veterinary services at your fingertips.
Joii offers quality pet care 365 days of the year. Via your smartphone and the Joii app you have access to UK based trained vets and nurses at the tap of a button.
The app gives pet owners access to a free pet symptom checker, nurse health clinics and the option to make a call to a trained vet at a fraction of the cost of traditional vets fees.
Joii’s mission is to offer affordable and convenient healthcare to pet owners whenever they need it. That is why they have members of their veterinary team online 24/7 to ensure pet parents can access the support they need, all without leaving their home.
Download the app and get 50% off your first vet consultation with Joii by using the code WELCOME50. Because you can’t put a price on the health of your furry best friend.
Are You Keeping Your Dog Cool?
How do you keep your dog cool in the summer? Let us know in the comments below!