What Do I Do If My Dog Becomes Overheated?
Updated: Jul 24
Every summer feels hotter than the last and with temperatures soaring throughout the next couple of months, we need to keep our furry friends in mind. Making sure you pay attention and that your pet remains cool could mean saving their life. Heatstroke and related conditions are extremely dangerous. Keep yourself educated and your pet happy and safe so that you don’t have to visit the emergency vet.
Sometimes things do happen. You’re out at the sandbar or at a park or even just taking a short walk because it didn’t feel that hot out to you. Our pets regulate their body temperature a bit differently than we do. Hot pavement can hurt the pads on the bottom of their feet and sometimes a dog just can’t pant fast enough to get rid of the excess body heat.
So if an accident happens and your pet is exposed to high temperatures take to follow the steps below and immediately call your local urgent care vet or an emergency vet.
These are the signs of heatstroke to look for in your pet: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering gait, vomiting, or even a deep red or purple tongue.
If your pet is displaying any of the above-mentioned symptoms and you believe they are overheating follow these 6 steps:
1. Immediately move them to a cooler place
2. Dump cool (not cold) water all over their entire body or soaking them in a cool bath.
3. If you don’t have a bathtub apply cool towels to the least furry part of their belly,
and armpits. get their paws wet with cool water as well
4. Direct a fan towards them to speed up cooling.
5. You may offer fresh water to your dog if they are awake. However, do not force your pet drink.
6. Immediately call your local urgent care vet or emergency vet
If you are alone, follow the above steps first and then call your local urgent care vet or an emergency vet. If you have someone there that can help you then have one person follow the above steps and the other place to call. Heatstroke is very dangerous so call as soon as possible. Your urgent care vet or emergency vet is there to help in situations like this.
The other heat-related accident we have had to help with is when people have left their pets in their hot car. We do not recommend taking your pets in the car with you unless necessary. Especially down here in Florida because it is hot here much of the year.
If you are ever in a situation where you find an animal in a car that is displaying symptoms of heatstroke this is what we recommend you do: First, call your local animal control office or police department. Write down the car's license plate number, go into the closest store or business to ask that an emergency announcement be made about a pet left in a hot car. Then return back to the car and wait for police or animal control to show up.
Some states do have Good Samaritan laws where you can break a car window to save a dog. We cannot recommend doing so because we are not attorneys. This is why calling your local animal control or police department is so important. They will instruct you what to do.
We hope you and your pets are never in this situation. However, we do live in Florida so the best thing you can do for your pet is to be educated on how to prevent heatstroke.
We are always here to help but we recommend that it’s better to be safe than sorry. We love all animals, however, we would rather them stay healthy instead of taking a trip to the urgent care vet or an emergency vet.