Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs: Tips for a Safe and Cool Summer

Two dogs lying in the shade on a hot day, preventing heat stroke

What is Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is also known as heat exhaustion and hyperthermia. These are all fancy words that mean elevated body temperature. Generally speaking, if a pet’s body temperature exceeds 103°F, it is considered abnormal or hyperthermic. Elevated body temperature is extremely dangerous for dogs because it is more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature than humans. The only place dogs have sweat glands is on the pads of their feet. They regulate their body heat by panting, resting, and drinking water. Prevention in hot weather conditions is key!

Three things you can do to prevent Heatstroke:

1. Make sure your dog doesn’t stay outside too long!  Keeping outside time to a minimum is the best way to go in the hot summer months. If your dog does need to spend an extended period of time outside, make sure they have plenty of shady areas to lie down in and access to cool water. Be sure to bring them inside during the hottest parts of the day.
2. Walking and exercising your dogs in the morning and evening is ideal! Walking before and after the midday sun hours will definitely help to avoid overheating. Always bring water for your dog to drink and stop for shade breaks often. For the hottest days, consider taking shorter walks and avoiding steep hills and other strenuous areas.

3. Groom dogs appropriately for the season! Dogs with long and thick fur may need to be shaved or trimmed during the hottest part of the summer. A professional groomer will know the best weather-appropriate style for your dog.

Summer is meant for fun in the sun, but extra precautions are needed to keep your pets safe. Keep a close eye on them, always have water on hand, and be sure to have some fun in the shade too! Have a pawsome summer!

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Brandy Emmert

Hi! I'm the proud owner of Four Seasons For Paws, a renowned pet care company that provides dog training, dog walking, pet sitting, and home security checks. I am passionate about leading a team of certified, knowledgeable, compassionate pet care specialists and trainers who love pouring their hearts into caring for our animal companions. I love having the opportunity to provide complete peace of mind for so many pet parents in our community! And I love sharing advice and educating pet parents on any and all things that can enhance their lives, and the lives of their pets. ❤️

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