Dog Heat Stroke – How to Avoid This Top Summer Hazard

As we gear up to enjoy the hot days of Summer it’s important to remember our doggie friends as they just cannot handle the hot temperatures the way people can. Dog Heat Stroke (also called Dog Heat exhaustion) can happen very quickly on hot days.

The most dangerous place as you may expect is inside the car as it heats up so quickly on a hot summer day. Did you know that when the outside temperature is 85 degrees, it takes only 10 minutes for the temperature inside your car to reach 102 degrees – even with the windows left open slightly. In 30 minutes, it will reach 120 degrees. Warmer days will make it go even higher.

The normal body temperature of a dog is 101.5 to 102.2 degrees. He can only endure a temperature of 107 degrees for a short time before suffering brain damage and shortly thereafter – death.

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Dog Heat Stroke Treatment

If the unthinkable happens and your dog gets heat stroke, the high fever must be reduced rapidly to save his life and prevent brain damage. You should do the following:

  • Slowly immerse the dog in cool water if possible, or spray (gently) with cool water from a garden hose.
  • Apply ice packs concentrating on the head and neck (to help prevent brain damage).
  • Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Heat exhaustion should also be treated by a veterinarian.

Heat Stroke Prevention:

  1. Never leave a dog in a closed car or any unventilated enclosure for any length of time.
  2. Kennels must have good ventilation to provide adequate air circulation in the summer.
  3. When dogs are outside, always provide some type of shade.
  4. Provide plenty of fresh water.
  5. Do not exercise the dogs excessively during hot weather.
  6. Hot concrete and asphalt in walkways can burn your dog’s paws.

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