Facts About Dog Heat Stroke in Ocoee, FL
Florida’s heat and humidity are well-known human health hazards, but they can also be harmful to our pets! Dog heat stroke is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur even if the weather seems mild. Below, you can learn about the signs of dog heat stroke, the types of situations that can put your pet at risk for heat stroke, and what you can do to prevent heat stroke altogether.
Here in Ocoee, FL, it’s natural to want to enjoy the sun and heat. Just remember to keep your pet’s safety in mind, along with yours!
For any information that isn’t discussed below or to get help for your pet, please call us right away at (407) 298-3807.
Signs of Dog Heat Stroke
How can you tell if your dog is suffering from heat stroke? Here are the clinical signs you should check for:
• Heavy, labored breathing and panting
• Drooling (saliva appears thicker than normal)
• Sluggish, lethargic behavior
• Weakness, and difficulty standing and walking
• Acting confused and disoriented
• Trouble urinating
Note that not all of these signs listed above may be apparent in your pet. We ask that you contact us even if you are not sure whether your dog has heat stroke.
What Situations can Put Pets at Risk for Heat Stroke?
Below are some important examples of a high-risk situation for dog heat stroke. Keep these in mind to keep your pet safe.
Leaving Your Companion in the Car
It only takes a few minutes for your car’s inside temperature to go from 80 degrees to 100+ degrees. Being parked in the shade with the windows cracked also does not necessarily mitigate risk. If you can, leave your pet safely at home or with a friend or family member if you need to run errands.
Taking a Walk with Your Pet During the Hottest Part of the Day
The day is typically hottest between noon and 3PM. And not only is the temperature at its highest, but streets and sidewalks also become extremely hot as they bake under the sun. Be sure to walk your dog early in the day or in the evening, during sunset.
Making Your Dog Exert Themselves Too Much
Dogs need walks and playtimes to keep them healthy and happy, but in warm weather, try to keep these activities to a minimum and have most of the playtime take place indoors, with aid conditioning. Too much exercise and activity outside can exhaust your pet and cause them to overheat.
Keeping Your Pet Outside Without Adequate Shelter or Water
Sometimes your pup likes to hang out in the yard for a little while, and that’s okay! But when it’s warm, humid, and/or sunny, being out too long can put them at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Be cautious and make sure not to forget that your dog is outside, especially if they don’t have shade or water to help them stay cool.
Tips to Prevent Dog Heat Stroke
We know how important your pet’s safety is to you. To help prevent dog heat stroke, keep these tips in mind!
Make Sure Your Dog Stays Hydrated
As obvious as this seems, it is also easy to take for granted. Make sure your pup always has access to fresh water, whether they are inside or outside, and at all times.
Help Your Pet Stay Cool as Much as Possible
Keep your pet indoors as often as you can in hot weather. If they are outside, make sure they have shade to rest in, water to drink, and perhaps even a small wading pool to help them stay cool.
Walk Them When It’s Cooler Outside
Don’t take your dog on walks when the sun is high and the pavement is hot (which can burn their feet). Opt for an early morning or evening walk when the sun is much lower and the air and ground are cooler.
Contact Your Vet If You have Concerns
Your pet seems mostly fine, but something is off and you’re concerned about their health. In this situation, don’t hesitate to contact our hospital so we can help! Your dog might be in the early stages of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Some Dogs are More Vulnerable to Heat Stroke
Some dog breeds are less tolerant of the heat, due to certain breed characteristics that result in narrow nostrils, elongated soft palates, and a narrower windpipe. English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boxers are a few examples of dogs with these characteristics, which can actually restrict breathing and make it more difficult to stay cool. Panting is how dogs regulate their body temperature and prevent overheating. If they cannot pant as efficiently, they can overheat, and this makes them more at risk for heat stroke.
If you have any questions about the information provided on dog heat stroke or need help for your pet, call now at (407) 298-3807.