Caring for your dog during a heat wave

11 August 2022

It’s summertime, hot outside and only getting hotter!  Did you know that heat stroke can happen very quickly to dogs? The consequences of a heat stroke can be extremely serious for our four-legged friends, sometimes leading to cardiac arrest. Each year, a high number of dogs continue to succumb to heat stroke.

Dogs do not sweat like humans do and their thermoregulation system is not optimal. Although they perspire through their paw pads, they primarily regulate their body temperature by panting.

Certain breeds are predisposed to heat stroke

Some dogs are more sensitive than others and certain breeds are even more so. This is the case of Iggy, our French bulldog and brand ambassador! With his flat face, our favorite dog knows that during the hot weather, walks should be taken either very early in the morning, very late in the evening or not at all.  Also, it is essential to avoid hot asphalt. Indeed, brachycephalic breeds (with a flat face) like French bulldogs, English bulldogs and pugs are very sensitive to heat. Puppies, older dogs, overweight dogs and those with respiratory or heart diseases are also vulnerable and should be closely monitored.

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

Dogs develop characteristic symptoms of heat stroke rapidly.  These include an increased heart rate, intense and rapid panting, excessive drooling, a temperature higher than 40.5°C, difficulties walking, congested mucous membranes, despondency or prostration, and, if complications arise, vomiting, diarrhea, spontaneous bleeding, convulsions, and loss of consciousness, which can lead to the dog’s death.

What should I do?

It is always recommended to call your veterinarian, the one person who can correctly evaluate the seriousness and urgency of the situation. The first thing to do is to gradually lower your dog’s body temperature by placing him in the shade or a cool area. Gently and progressively spray or sponge your dog’s entire body with cool water.  Avoid using water that is too cold, as it could prevent the proper evacuation of heat. Have your dog drink from a bowl of fresh water.  Then, have him rest, and monitor him carefully. Delayed complications are always possible in the days following a heat stroke, so keep a close eye on him.

Did you know…Dogs can also get sunburned! And for short-haired dogs with light coats, avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Take as few risks as possible.  Remember to fill your dog’s water bowl regularly, change your habits, go out when it is cooler and stay in the shade as much as possible (don’t forget to take water with you), avoid hot sidewalks and, if you can, let him go for a swim or hose him down at the end of the day! And remember that even when parked in the shade, with the windows open, you never leave a dog in your car.


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