The Dangers of Heatstroke for Pets

As we head into summer here in the Nashville area, the heat and humidity can be unbearable at times for pets and people. Although you are ready to include your dog in your plans to have some fun in the sun, you need to be aware of the dangers of heatstroke for your pets.

To make sure your dog stays cool and comfortable this summer, 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share some tips from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) for preventing, detecting, and treating heatstroke. Knowing what to look for and how to react could mean the difference between life and death for your four-legged friends this summer.


man hiking with dog on his backIf you think heatstroke is only possible from the heat and humidity outdoors, you should think again. Hot, humid, and unventilated areas inside can also be very dangerous for pets. You should never, ever leave your pet alone in a parked car, even with cracked windows. Before you leave for work each day, you should always make sure your dog has access to fresh water and air conditioning in your home. 5 Points Animal Hospital recommends going for your daily walk with your pet in the early morning or late evening to avoid the extreme heat during the middle of the day.


Knowing the signs of overheating is crucial to keep your pets safe from the risks of heatstroke. Be on the alert to excessive panting and drooling, slight weakness, increased heart rate, stupor, and difficulties with breathing with your pet. Severe heatstroke symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and seizures. You should also be aware that pets with shorter noses such as bulldogs, boxers, pugs, and Persian cats, are at a higher risk for heatstroke.


You should begin a cooling method as soon as you notice any of the signs of heatstroke in your pet. Suitable cooling methods include placing a fan in front of your pet, rubbing his paws and abdomen with cotton balls that have been saturated with rubbing alcohol and wrapping your pet in towels that are soaked in lukewarm water. You may think that cold water is a better choice, but you should not cool your pet too rapidly as this is harmful. Once you have started to cool your pet down, you should seek medical attention for them immediately.

Heatstroke is a serious health condition for pets and could even be fatal. For more information about keeping your dogs and cats safe during the hottest days of summer, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital. We are here for all of your comprehensive veterinary health needs.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on The Dangers of Heatstroke for Pets

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