Did you know that dogs do not sweat?
The only place on the body that dogs can sweat is through the pads on their feet, which is not enough surface area to effectively cool down. Dogs can only cool down by panting, or by the process of convection (being in a cooler environment which encourages heat exchange).
Because of their ineffective cooling mechanisms...
Dogs are at increased risk of heat stroke in the summer.
Common conditions in which heat stroke can occur include:
- Hot days
- Excessive exercise
- Sun exposure
- Being left in a car (please - never do!)
Certain characteristics can predispose certain dogs to heat stroke:
- Brachycephalic breeds cannot pant as effectively to cool down due to their conformation
- Dogs with laryngeal paralysis (a neurodegenerative condition affecting older dogs which prevents the airway from opening effectively)
- Excitable personality types
Signs of heat stroke:
- Excessive, rapid panting
- Weakness or inability to stand
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Dehydration (sticky gums, thick saliva)
- Bright red tongue and gums
If your dog is exhibiting sign and symptoms of heat stroke...this is an emergency.
Try some of the immediate cooling techniques below and bring him directly to the closest veterinarian.
- Water – cool to lukewarm is best, as to not cool too rapidly
- Place a fan in front of your pet
- Remove from hot environment (bring in the shade or indoors
The best treatment is prevention!
Please remember, if you’re noticing the heat, your dog is probably even hotter!
Please do not leave your pet in a closed car!