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Heat stroke in dogs

Is it just me or did summer just tear into the Comox Valley like it owns the place? Well, with more than one day over thirty degrees already I think it’s time that we start talking about heat stroke in dogs and save a few lives this summer!

Did you know that the #1 month for reports of heat stroke in dogs is June, before pets’ bodies have time to adapt to hotter temperatures. Some breeds have an increased risk of heat stroke; bulldogs I’m lookin’ HARD at you! Heat stroke sets in fast - in many cases it can occur in less than half an hour.

Our dogs’ ability to cool themselves is limited to panting, laying in the shade, and swimming (if they have access to water). You can help your pet beat the heat by keeping them in a cooled environment, providing access to a small swimming pool or pond, exercising them in the coolest part of the day, and by not leaving them in the car!

Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs are:

-panting heavily


-dark red gums


The reason that heat stroke is so dangerous is because when the body overheats the vital organs begin to… well… cook! This leads to multiple organ failure, and ultimately, death. If you find an animal that has been overheated, the best thing to do is to go to the vet immediately. Its important not to douse them in cold water or ice: overheated pets need to be cooled down slowly, like in front of a fan or air conditioner. Offer them small amounts of water and get them to the vet. It’s impossible to tell by looking at the animal whether he’ll “be alright” or if he needs hospitalization and IV fluids.

Stay cool this summer when you’re enjoying the sun and play it safe so your pet can beat the heat!

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