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Can My Dog Get Heatstroke?

You might not worry about your dog when it's hot, but heatstroke can absolutely affect dogs, and it can be very dangerous - even fatal. We've got all the basic information you need to know about heatstroke in dogs right here.

How Hot Is Too Hot?

Heat stroke is a term used when referring to elevated body temperatures or hyperthermia. In general, it is considered abnormal or hyperthermic if a dog’s temperature is more than 103F/29.4C.

When the body’s temperature exceeds 106F/421C without any signs of illness, it is usually because of exposure to excessive environmental or external heat and is frequently called heatstroke.

Body temperatures of 107F/41.2C to 109F/42.7C are considered critical and can result in multiple organ failure, and in many cases, even death!

How Will I Know If My Dog Has Heatstroke?

When dogs have heatstroke, they will be panting rapidly, have sticky or dry gums, bruising in the gums, or have an abnormal gum colour. Heatstroke can also make dogs seem disoriented or lethargic, and even cause them to have seizures

How Is Heatstroke Caused?

Leaving a dog in a car with insufficient airflow, is the most common cause of heatstroke in canines. Their body temperatures in these situations increases exceptionally fast, and very often within minutes!

Panting is a dog’s primary way of regulating its body temperature. It is therefore important to remember that they are unable to control their body temperature by sweating, like we humans do, because they only have a few sweat glands situated in the pads on their feet.

Other common causes of heatstroke in dogs include:

- When they are left outside on hot days without shade or water

- Vigorous or excessive activities in hot temperatures

- Extended exposure to a hot hairdryer

- Getting overly excited or excessive exercise even if the weather is not extremely hot., especially in those cases where dogs are kept in a dog kennel or a poorly ventilated environment

- Dogs that are muzzled for extended periods

- Certain breeds with restricted airways, like boxers, bulldogs, and pugs. These breeds are at risk for heatstroke even when temperatures and humidity outside are only moderately high

Heatstroke is extremely dangerous for dogs and other animals. If you suspect that your dog might be suffering with heatstroke, then take him/her to the vet immediately!

If you are not able to get your pet to the vet, then you can help lower your dog’s temperature by pouring cool (not ice cold) water over the head, armpits, feet, and stomach. Cool cloths can also be used on those areas but should be replaced continuously.

It shouldn't need to be said again, but never, NEVER, for any reason whatsoever, leave your dog in a hot car!

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