While we’re all making the most of the fun in the sun, it’s important to know what to do if you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke. First & foremost, a quick reminder...
Do NOT leave your dog in the car for ANY amount of time. FULL STOP!
Avoid leaving them unattended for extended periods. Dogs aren't guaranteed to keep themselves as cool & safe as possible on their own. If you're concerned about leaving your pup home alone during the heatwave, call K9 Anytime to arrange a chilled out play session while you’re away. We ensure our dogs are kept cool with unlimited water, shade & rest, & monitor every dog in our care closely to ensure that everyone is safe & comfortable all day long.
If you must leave them alone, ensure that they have access to ample cool shade & water, & that someone is able to check in on them regularly where possible.
Now let's keep it simple - here’s what to do if your dog is suffering from heat stroke:
Remove your dog from the hot environment to a cooler space.
If available & possible, put your dog in the bath & run cool or lukewarm (NOT cold or ice cold) water over the body, especially the neck & back of the head & allow the bath to fill up. Be sure not to let water enter the nose or mouth if your dog is not conscious.
NOTE: using icy or cold water can cause further problems & in fact hinder recovery. Using cold water can cause their blood vessels to constrict & impede losing body heat.
Keep the head elevated & apply a cool pack or bag of frozen vegetables for a few minutes at a time.
Cover the body in towels soaked in lukewarm water.
Place them in an area where there is airflow to encourage heat loss by convection & radiation.
If you can’t put them in the bath, use the garden hose to shower them with water as above or get them into a cool pool of water.
Take their temperature at 5 minute intervals, continuing water-cooling until it's below 39.4°C .
Massage your dog’s legs vigorously to promote circulation & reduce risk of shock.
Add a pinch of salt to their water to help replace lost minerals during rehydration & allow them to drink as much as they want.
Contact your vet if you suspect there might be further unseen issues or if their condition does not appear to be improving.
Read the following articles for more information:
Heat Stroke in Dogs
How to Treat a Dog with Heatstroke
How to Prevent & Treat Heat Stroke in Dogs