Practical guide to avoid heat stroke in dogs


Before the arrival of summer and the heat wave planned for these days, the Official College of Veterinarians of Valencia He wants to review what the basic tips are for pets to enjoy the summer season happily and safely.

Dogs, unlike humans, regulate their temperature through panting and sweating by pads and areas with little hair. Thus, high temperatures, a space with poor ventilation and exposed to high solar radiation or lack of hydration They can trigger a heat stroke in our pet.

In this sent> " if we are going to travel by car with him, we should never leave him locked inside, even with the windows down. ”

As for the breeds of animals, Valencian veterinarians recommend paying special attention to the breeds or animals most susceptible to suffering from this type of ailment, such as younger or older dogs. A) Yes, the boxer, carlino, bulldog and any animalbrachycephalic are the most prone.


The first symptoms of a heat stroke in a dog are bright red gums, open mouth, dizziness, continuous gasps, excessive salivation and apathy.

The College of Veterinarians of Valencia emphasizes the importance of recognizing these first symptoms in order to attend to our pet as quickly as possible.

The first thing that they should do is try to lay down the dog to a place with shade, and slowly cool it with water or put wet cloth on the neck and head to try to lower the body temperature.

Last but not least, after first aid, they highlight the importance of going to a veterinary center.

The symptoms of a heat stroke in dogs are easy to notice:

  • Excessive breathing: your dog will gasp and breathe with rap> Give him a bowl of fresh, clean water to drink when he is thirsty.
  • Do not take him for a walk with high temperatures †"less if you have a pug, a bulldog or some other breed of flat snout, because they find it difficult to breathe." It is certain that if you feel an unbearable heat, your pet will too. You could even get burns on the pads of your legs because of how hot the asphalt can be. В
  • Avoid traveling by car when it is very hot. If you have no other option, try to always take it with you, as it could die of shock if you leave it locked. В В
  • If your pet lives outside the home, make sure it has a good shade for shelter. It is recommended that you stay indoors in the hours when you feel the most heat. В

What to do if your dog suffers a heat stroke?

If you couldn't stop him from giving your dog a heat stroke, here are some recommendations that can save his life.

  • The first thing is to keep calm.
  • Move your dog to a cool place, with shade and a fairly decent air flow. The most important thing of all is to lower your temperature to a normal level.
  • Give it fresh and clean water, never cold. Avoid drinking water too quickly.
  • Use a wet towel or your hand to cool your head, belly and armpits. It is important that you never permanently cover your dog with a wet cloth, as there may be a counterproductive effect. In extreme cases, rub alcohol or an ice cube in the same areas and on your legs.
  • Even if your dog is responding well to your attempt to normalize its temperature, it is very important that you take it with a veterinarian so that it can assess its condition and determine if it did not suffer internal damage.

05 Jul How to avoid a heat stroke in dogs: spend a safe summer

The summer heat, when temperatures reach peaks and in the central hours of the day, can be a setback for many people, but especially for animals that depend on them. If we do not prepare to face this stage properly, it is possible that the summer will play a trick on us, so it is important to know how to avoid a heat stroke in dogs: They may be having a bad time and will not complain, which does not mean they are less exposed than any other family member.

Heat shock is the reaction of our body to maintain body temperature in almost extreme temperatures. Just as human sweating serves to balance our body temperature, dogs also perspire, although they have much less sweat glands than humans. That implies that when the environment is very hot and the body temperature tends to increase, the dogs' bodies begin to work for stay stable and not enter risk levels.

When thinking about how to avoid a heat stroke in dogs, you have to first look at certain symptoms: excessively open mouth, excessive panting or many drooling can be a sign that our dog is trying to lower your body temperature and overcome the heat. The red eyes also indicate that we must be attentive to their condition to prevent heat from turning a simple uncomfortable situation into a problematic case for your health.

Tips to avoid a heat stroke in dogs

Both for general health and to avoid heat stroke, the key is in the same word: prevention. Although the heat is severe, if we follow a series of steps it will be feasible that our dog does not reach the point of suffering a heat stroke. Some guidelines:

  • Never, under any circumstances, leave our dog locked in the car, especially if it is in the sun. Overheating may occur, the animal could get stressed and that burden would become a more persistent gasp and a rising body temperature to which your body could not react well. The same at home: they should not be enclosed in spaces that are too hot or prone to overheating, such as terraces or rooms that receive direct sun.
  • Fresh and clean water. Dogs, like humans, should be able to combat heat with hydration, especially with fresh water ... but never frozen. An excessive contrast could be more harmful. A few buckets of water will suffice in your drinking fountain.
  • Never do exercise in peak heat hours. The sun can be excessive, which together with the effort could cause a heat stroke to our dog. In fact, the sport will have to be measured even outside the central hours of the day, as the asphalt could maintain a temperature too high after all day receiving heat.
  • Walk in the shade. It seems obvious, but caution must be taken. It is necessary to go for a walk, we can not be locked all day at home, but we can be careful in the walks to make them for the part of the street that receives less sun, so that the shadow is a protection against the heat.
  • Cool the dog. While we are walking, but also at home, we can have a small siphon, or some fresh and wet towel, with which to refresh the English and underarm areas, which will help balance the dog's body temperature.
  • Common sense. We must think about the welfare of our dog and have empathy if we see him very hot. He is another member of the family and, like any other, he may need to put the air conditioning on for a while, open a window or give him something refreshing to drink.

First aid before a heat stroke in a dog

Sometimes, no matter how much effort we put into it, or careful that we are with the preventive part, the heat stroke can occur: there are races more prone than others, the color of the hair influences and so do many factors that are not always within our reach. scope. Therefore, if the situation occurs, we must know how to act with some first aid advice.

  • Get it out of where it is. A heat stroke in dogs usually has as its starting point the place where the animal is. If we are on the street, let's keep it under cover, if it's in a specific room, let's take it to a cooler one. The environment influences a lot.
  • We must refresh you underarms, English and nose, as well as the mouth, but without forcing him to drink in any case. Yes we can, with our mouths open, throw water so that we can wet it inside. Fresh water, but not frozen.
  • Watch out for the pools. Those who live in homes with a pool may be tempted to enter the pool with the dog to cool it suddenly, but it is not recommended. Too much contrast in a heat stroke situation could cause a vasoconstriction, the capillaries would close and the body temperature would increase even more: counterproductive measure.
  • Veterinary care. Any action we can take at home to avoid the first reaction to heat stroke will be merely temporary, since such a case requires urgent veterinary attention. Wetting the dog or trying to cool it as much as possible should only be a first step before urgently going to the veterinarian: even if we manage to stabilize the temperature of the animal, it will be necessary to receive expert attention to assess the extent of the problem, and what can cause liver, kidney and even multi-organ failure. The 48 hours following the heat stroke are important, and the animal may need drippers or tempered sera not only to get out of the collapse situation, but to stabilize in the following days. As much as it seems that the dog has overcome the heat stroke, it is also advisable to go to the veterinarian to verify that everything is fine.

In any situation, contact us. Our canine health plans cover all consultations, not only preventive check-ups but also reactive consultations for health problems that may occur, be it a heat stroke in dogs or another situation, as well as subsequent reviews. With common sense and correct guidelines, there will be no problems to enjoy the summer with our dogs.

The dogs with the most caution should be those with short hair

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The first heat wave of the year has caused hundreds of people to be treated in Spain for heat stroke. This disorder, which causes death in the most severe cases, does not only affect people: Civil Guard warned from its Twitter account, on June 17, that the mascot can also suffer. [Check the weather forecast here]

Do you know that your pet can also suffer a heat stroke?
These are your symptoms
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Unlike humans, who have sweat glands throughout the body, many pets such as dogs or cats concentrate them on their paws. "We work better against the heat because we have many ventilation points, while these animals have only their legs and mouth [with breathing]," he tells the phone Verne Javier Belver, from the Arturo Soria Veterinary Hospital in Madrid. "However, it is enough for them to withstand high temperatures, normally the heat stroke is due to negligence of the owners," he explains.

Because of this, the pets that are most at risk are dogs. "They are the most attached to the owners and those who go out frequently," Belver explains, "it is difficult for animals that do not leave the house to suffer."

How to detect a heat stroke

-Attitude of the animal. The fastest way to detect a heat stroke, Belver says, is to look at the animal's behavior. "Before a heat stroke, the first thing that can be detected is that they start to stand in the shadow areas, and they don't want to continue with the walk," he explains. In advanced cases, "they walk with their heads down, do not pay attention and are not able to walk in a straight line."

-Symptom. When a dog suffers a heat stroke, the first symptoms that can be observed are very strong and fast gasps, and very wet paw pads - because that's where the dogs (and cats) have their sweat glands. In very severe cases, Belver says, "hemorrhages can be detected in the skin, mucous membranes, gums or feces." If left untreated in time, Belver warns that "these cases can lead to a multisysmal failure: kidney collapse, internal bleeding."

What to do if the pet suffers one

- Gradually lower the temperature of the animal. The symptoms of heat stroke should disappear when the pet's temperature returns to normal - about 39º, Belver says. However, it should be gradually lowered: "You have to be cautious and not put the animal in an ice bowl," explains the veterinarian, "but do it progressively." The vet recommends using wet towels that do not completely wrap the animal and sprayers with water.

-Check that the symptoms disappear. If not, go to the vet. The most severe cases of heat stroke may require treatments that cannot be performed at home, such as intravenous rehydration, with a dropper. In addition, Belver warns of another danger: to believe that the animal suffers a heat stroke and that it suffers another disease. "There are those who can confuse the symptoms with those of, for example, poisoning, and can lead to serious problems for the pet," he says. "If the symptoms prevail, you have to go to the vet yes or yes."

How to prevent them

-Avoid walks at peak heat hours. Belver recommends "restrict departures as much as possible in the central hours of the day", and perform them only if necessary.

-In case you have to make the walk, shorten its duration. "If you had to make a hygienic exit [for the animal to defecate or urinate], it should be as short as possible and always in the shade," says Belver. "And you have to go home as soon as you need it."

- More susceptible breeds. Although it might seem the opposite, the dogs with the most caution should be those with short hair. "Long hair insulates more and resists better," Belver explains. "Those with short hair have a worse natural insulator and resist high temperatures worse."

-Keep the hydrated macosta. Belver believes that it is very difficult for a dog to suffer a heat stroke even if the temperatures are high "if the animal has left the house properly hydrated and the walk is done in the shade."

-Don't leave it in the car. It is a recurring warning from the National Police every time the heat comes. The temperature inside the vehicles can exceed 20 degrees above the outside in just 30 minutes, so leaving a living being inside the car is a real danger. If you see a dog locked in a car, here we explain how you should act.

5 second rule? No: common sense rule

On Facebook there are publications with thousands of shares that state that, to know if a dog can be walked or not, you must follow the "five-second rule": place the back of the hand on the asphalt and, if it burns so much so as not to be able to resist during that time, not to remove the animal from home. Belver doubts its effectiveness: "If that rule worked, in Spain no dog could walk all summer," he says.

The veterinarian recommends using a simpler rule: that of common sense. "If you would avoid going outside at three in the afternoon in August, you shouldn't take your pet out either," he recommends. "And if you have to take it out, walk in the same way you would walk: always looking for the shadow, reducing the ride to the essential minimum and without performing strenuous tasks."

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