Heat Stroke in Pets


Like any other animal in the world, pets need a certain temperature level in order to stay happy and healthy. While some pets have a more robust constitution and can withstand relatively high or low temperatures, dogs and cats with large quantities of fur are more susceptible to heat stroke and need to avoid hot environments. How can pet owners prevent heat stroke?

Dogs will always pant in warmer temperatures, but when a dog is panting so hard that they have difficulty breathing, it is a signal that their body has overheated. Likewise, cats may also pant when they’re too hot, or may be sweating excessively on their paws. At the more serious levels of heat stroke, pets will be restless in looking for a cool spot, will have dry gums, and may be dizzy or collapse on the spot.

Preventing heat stroke is fairly simple. Never leave a dog or cat in a hot environment, such as a car on a summer day or in an unventilated room with direct sunlight. Always have water on hand so that they can cool themselves down and remain hydrated. If possible, keep a cool area of your house (such as a basement corridor) open to pets at all times.

Treat heat stroke by removing your dog or cat from the hot environment and giving them warm (not cool or ice cold) water. Do not force your pet to drink water, and do not let them drink large amounts of water in one sitting or else they can become sick. Put wet towels on your pet’s foot pads. Never use ice to cool down a cat or dog, since this causes blood vessels to constrict. If they do not recover and continue to pant or lose consciousness, get them to a veterinarian immediately.

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