How to spot the signs of heat stroke in dogs

Here are some American Kennel Club tips to prevent heat stroke in dogs

Generic dog photo
Generic dog photo (Pixabay)

SAN ANTONIO – On hot, sunny days, nothing feels better than soaking up some rays with your four-legged friend. While Texans may be equipped to handle the heat, unfortunately, dogs are not.

Heat strokes in dogs can be deadly if they aren’t treated properly, and missing the signs and symptoms could put your pup in danger.

Dogs cannot regulate their body temperatures like humans do, according to the American Kennel Club. They can only regulate their body temperature by panting and sweating through their paws, AKC said.

AKC said when dogs body temperature reaches 105 degrees Fahrenheit, they could be suffering from a heat stroke.

The number one cause of heat strokes in dogs is leaving them in hot cars, According to SPCA of Texas.

Even leaving a dog in the car on an 85-degree day with the windows down can still cause the inside to reach up to 120 degrees, SPCA said.

Symptoms of a heat stroke to look out for include “heavy panting, excessive drooling, bright red gums and tongue, skin hot to the touch and a higher heart rate,” AKC said.

If your dogs is experiencing a heat stroke, there are ways you can help prevent the symptoms from getting worse.

AKC provided these tips to help treat a dog who has a heat stroke:

  • Get your dog to a cool, ventilated area as soon as possible.
  • Spray or sponge your dog with cool or tepid water on their underside. Do not use cold water and never emerge the dog into a cold bath.
  • Use a fan to blow cool air on them.

You should take the dog to the vet as soon as you cool them down if you cannot get them to cool down.

AKC said making sure dogs have access to cool water, shade and not exercising them during peak temperatures can help prevent heat strokes.

More on KSAT:

Here are some ways to protect yourself from the summer heat and avoid heat exhaustion

CPS Energy issues high energy demand alert for Aug. 10; asks San Antonio residents to conserve


About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.