If dogs are overheated and unable to reduce their body temperature, they are in danger from heatstroke. This can be caused by leaving your dog in a hot environment or by allowing it to exercise excessively in hot weather.
Dogs with short muzzles, fatter or heavy dogs, long haired dogs, old or young dogs and certain medications will make a dog more prone to heatstroke.
Signs to look for include:
- heavy panting
- profuse salivation
- a rapid pulse
- very red gums and tongue
- loss of consciousness
If your dog shows any symptoms of heatstroke, move them to a shaded, cool area and ring your vet for advice.
Cool them with tepid water (you can place them in a shower and run cool water over them or use a water spray) and place them in a cool breeze eg a fan. Do this until their breathing is normal again, but not to the extent that they begin to shiver.
Encourage your dog (if conscious) to drink regular small amounts of water.
Take your dog to the vet as soon as they are more stable. Heatstroke is always treated as an emergency and can be fatal.