How To Prevent Hyperthermia (Heatstroke) in Pets
During the hot summer months it is very important to be proactive in preventing hyperthermia (heatstroke). Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the heat:
- Always have water available for your pet when it is outside.
- If your pet is going to be outside for any extended period of time, you should also provide adequate shelter for shade.
- Never leave your dog outside for long periods of time on a hot day.
- Never leave your pet unattended in the car on a hot day, even with the windows cracked.
- Avoid walking your dog on hot surfaces like asphalt or dark concrete.
Brachycephalic breeds (short nose breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, etc.) are also more sensitive to heatstroke and heat exhaustion because of their general anatomy and inability to adequately cool themselves.
Any animal that overexerts during exercise on a hot day can develop heatstroke. If you think your pet is becoming hyperthermic, follow these rules:
- Get into the shade
- Cool your pet down with cool (not cold water). If you use cold water you may drop their temperature too fast and create more problems. DO NOT cover your pet with a wet towel.
- Encourage standing and/or slow walking to enhance circulation.
- If your pet is able, allow for small drinks of water.
- Take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible!