In our last post, we taught you how to recognize the signs of heat stroke in your dog. Now, we’re going to teach you what to do if your dog does have heat stroke. There are some surefire steps to take, but make sure you don’t get over zealous — treating him too quickly can be just as dangerous.
Treating Heat Stroke
- Get your dog out of the heat and into an air conditioned room. If you can’t do this, at least get him in the shade and get him to calm down
- Do not cover or confine him. Instead, wipe him down with a cool, damp towel
- Place a cold pack or a bag of frozen veggies on his head or neck
- As mentioned before, dogs sweat through the pads on their feet, so keep these pads in cool air
- Allow your dog to drink cool (not cold) water, preferably in small amounts. If he is not drinking, try some at room temperature or some unsalted chicken or beef broth. Do no force him to drink!
- Massaging his legs will help with circulation
- Cool him down with water either in a tub or with a pressure-reduced hose, and cool, not cold, water. Do not submerge him completely as the body will lose temperature too quickly. Ice water can cause the blood vessels to construct. Just wet him down gently over the back and neck
- Take your dog to the vet, even if he seems fine. It’s better to be safe than sorry
Of course, the best way to treat heat stroke in your pup is to prevent it.
- If your dog has long hair or a thick coat, get him a summer cut
- Always provide shade and water
- Never leave him, cats or children in a hot car
- Avoid concrete and asphalt surfaces — even the sand at the beach can be hot
- Keep your dog inside on really hot days and monitor his exercise
By keeping these tips in mind, you and your dog can still have a great summer!