specialty veterinarian careers winter haven fl

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs in Davenport, FL

We all love to go out on a nice hot summer day, but everyone knows that you need to stay hydrated to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated. Well, the same is true for our dogs as well, but dogs are at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated or even having a heat stroke. As a result, every dog owner in Davenport, FL and the surrounding areas should know the signs of heat stroke in dogs.

Dehydration and heat stroke often go hand in hand when it comes to our dogs, so it is important to be able to recognize the signs of both. In addition, knowing when dogs are at risk of developing these conditions and knowing how to prevent them are crucial for dog owners.

In this article we will be explaining all of the signs of heat stroke in dogs. We will also be explaining what to do if your dog is having a heat stroke and when dogs are at risk of having one.

dog heat stroke in Florida


When Are Dogs At Risk of Heat Stroke?

It is important to remember that dogs cannot sweat to cool themselves down, and dogs cool themselves on a hot day by panting instead. Unfortunately, this makes dogs more susceptible to heat stroke than humans are.

It is important for dog owners to know the situations where dogs are most in danger of developing heat stroke so that they can avoid them. Here are situations where dogs are at risk of heat stroke.

Being Left in a Hot Car

Although many people know that you should never leave a dog alone in a hot car, this is actually among the most common causes for heat stroke in dogs. A car on a hot day can quickly jump to extremely high interior temperatures within minutes, which can be very dangerous for a dog that is left inside.

As a result it is always recommended that dog owners leave their pet at home if they are planning on running errands on a hot day and be extra cautious when doing activities with their dog when it is hot out.

Being Left Outside on a Hot Day

When being left outside it is crucial that a dog has access to water and a shady spot to cool down. For those who are concerned about their dog becoming overheated you can also leave a kiddie pool out with cold water for a dog to cool off in.

Exercising When It’s Hot Out

Although dogs need exercise in all kinds of weather, they can become more susceptible to heat stroke when exercising on a hot day. As a result, you may need to make some special arrangements for your pet if he needs a lot of exercise while it is hot out. Making sure your dog has access to drinking water and a way to cool down are crucial in this situation.

Certain Dog Breeds Are More Susceptible

Certain dog breeds can be more susceptible to heat stroke than others. These include brachycephalic dogs with pushed in faces such as boxers, pugs, English bulldogs, and more. These dogs are more at risk for heat stroke than other dogs simply because they tend to have some breathing difficulties, and they cannot pant as well as other dogs as a result.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat stroke and dehydration are conditions that can be easily prevented in dogs. Here are some tips and rules to live by as a dog owner that will prevent heat stroke in dogs.

  • Always make sure that your dog has access to drinking water, shade, and shelter when outside on a hot day
  • Always supervise your pet when outside on a hot day
  • Never leave your dog in your car when it is hot out
  • Exercise your pet in the morning and evening to avoid extremely high temperatures
  • Take extra care and be cautious if you have a dog that is a brachycephalic breed

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

There are some common signs of a heat stroke in dogs. These are important for every dog owner to know so they can act quickly if their dog is exhibiting signs of a heat stroke. This is because heat strokes are a medical emergency in dogs, and this condition requires immediate veterinary care.

Here are some common signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • A fast, irregular heart beat
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Red gums
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Difficulties with walking and moving around
  • Confusion
  • Collapse and loss of consciousness

What to do if Your Dog is Having a Heat Stroke

If you notice that your dog is exhibiting signs of heat stroke it is important to take them to the vet as soon as you can, but you will need to follow some steps before you take the trip to your nearest emergency vet.

Soak Your Dog in Cold Water

The first thing that you should do is soak your dog in cold water to lower their temperature. You can either do this by putting your dog in a kiddy pool or bathtub and fill it up with cold water or by putting a towel on their back and continuously soaking them that way. It is important to keep your dog’s face out of the water during this process.

Get on the Line With Your Emergency Vet

Next, you should get on the phone with your nearest emergency vet. They will be able to walk you through the next steps.

Check For Signs of Shock

Your emergency vet will likely ask you to check for some specific signs of shock while you are still on the phone. Some common signs of shock in dogs include shallow breathing and a weak pulse.

If you find some signs of shock in your dog then your emergency vet will likely ask you to do some things to treat it before leaving for the vet. It is crucial to follow these instructions exactly.

Take Your Dog’s Temperature Every Five Minutes

Throughout this process you should check your dog’s temperature about every five minutes or so. You are aiming to get below 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get to the Vet

Once your vet gives you the OK, make the trip to your closest emergency vet as quickly as possible. At VHA, we’re here for all your emergency vet needs on a 24/7 basis. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you think your dog is having a heat stroke or for any other pet emergency cases. 

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About Veterinary Healthcare Associates

Veterinary Healthcare Associates in Winter Haven, FL, was established over 30 years ago as Maxwell Animal Clinic by Dr. John Maxwell. Maxwell Animal Clinic was a one-doctor general practice offering preventive care, dentistry, and standard surgical services to the community. As the years passed, Maxwell Animal Clinic evolved into a thriving 10-doctor general, specialty referral, and emergency veterinary practice.