It is so important to recognize the symptoms of heat stroke in your dog. If you are unsure of what heat stroke looks like; here are a list of symptoms your dog may present. If your dog is showing early signs of heat stroke it may be possible to help bring down his temperature naturally.
The first and most important step is to take your dog out of the hot environment and move ideally indoors to a place where it’s cooler or if you are outside to a shaded area . Do not keep your dog in the hot environment or place in a car.
Unable to find cooler environment
If you are outdoors and unable to bring your dog inside to a cooler environment you will need to get cool water; not cold water. Soak any material you have to your disposal such as a tee shirt, towel or anything that will soak up the water. Soak the material in water and place around your dogs chest, neck and back of head. The more of the dogs body you can cover the better. Other alternatives outdoors could be the use of a garden hose to soak your dogs body – at the lake or beach go into the water with them. If you can get a container of any kind to fill up with water so they can drink as much water as possible. Once you have your dog wrapped in a cool material or soaked in water, start to massage their legs to increase their circulation. Being outdoors you need to cool your dogs temperature and make plans to get them home ASAP or to a local veterinary. Do not keep your dog outside after cooling them down.
Inhome treatment you will follow similar guidelines. Start to fill a bath with cool water until it comes over the dogs back; as the water is filling up use a container to fill up with water and bathe your dog. It is so important that the water is cool and not cold as this may increase the risk of shock. Massage his legs to increase circulation. Some dogs may not drink water in the bath as they are uncomfortable so you will need to alternate between bath and floor so he will drink. When you don’t have access to a bath you can use frozen vegetables or bags of ice to place on your dog – behind the head/neck and chest is the areas to focus on. Do not hold in one place, massage the bags around the area and body. Make sure the dog has constant access to water and if they won’t drink, stop icing and let them have freedom to drink. You can also use similar method as above and soak materials to place around your dog.
Every 5 Minutes
Every 5 minutes you will need to check his temperature to see if its coming down.You will need to make sure your dogs temperature is below 103°F or 37.8°C. If you have no way of taking temperature use your judgement and if after 20/30 minutes their is no improvement you will need to seek veterinary care immediately. Do not think that you” will wait to see how the dog is in an hour”; heat stroke can have deadly problems if left untreated such as kidney failure.
If you’re taking your dog outside in hot conditions be prepared; here are some ways to keep your dog cool on a hot day. If your dog has a short nose, short hair or overweight limit the time you spend outside to no more than 30 minutes at a time. Prevention is the key; listen to your dog – they will let you know they are uncomfortable!