Protecting your pet from Heat Stroke

Tanya’s dog Hannah,with her yellow ribbonWe all love the hot weather and the sunshine in Dublin  and it is great to be able to get out and about with our pets but we must be aware that heat stroke and dehydration is a real and serious issue in some dogs in the high temperatures. So far this summer we have seen many case of heat stroke in our Anicare pet hospitals.


In Palmerstown veterinary hospital we have had 2 serious cases of heat stroke in the last week.

Heat stroke is an emergency that requires immediate treatment. A dog’s normal temperature is in the region of 37.5 C. When a dog is suffering form heat stoke their body temperature can rise to 40-43 C. Because dogs do not sweat (except for a little through their foot pads!) they rely on panting to dissipate excess heat from their body. This panting becomes very inefficient when the outside temperature is similar to body temperature. Dogs with squashed up face: pugs/ pekingses/ sometimes cavaliers will often have difficulty cooling themselves effectively in the high temperatures. Underlying heart/breathing conditions will make a dog more prone to heat stroke.

Heat Stroke in dogs

Symptoms of heat stroke are:

  1. Panting excessively and difficulty breathing
  2. The tongue and the gums will appear a deep red
  3. The saliva is thick
  4. Your pet may vomit/ pass bloody diarrhoea.

If you suspect that your dog has heat stroke take your dog immediately to the vet. Anicares pet hospitals have branches in Palmerstown, Blanchardstown, Glasnevin, Clontarf and Santry.

Susan Barry, our vet in Palmerstown veterinary hospital, has some advice on how to bring down the dogs’s body temperature:

–          Bring your pet into a cold/ air-conditioned room.

–          Wrap up in towels that have been soaked in cold water

–          Hose down/ place in bath of cold water for no longer that 2 minutes


Paula, our veterinary nurse in Palmerstown veterinary hospital, recommends:

–          Walk your pet only early morning or late in evening, avoid any exercise on the very hot days

–          If your pet is panting a lot after exercise, in the hot weather, hose them down/ wrap in cold water soaked towels.

–          Ensure plenty of water available to drink at all times

–          Add ice cubes to your pets water or freeze popsicles (treats or food) to cool them down

–          Never leave your pet in the car during daylight hours in the summer

–          In the garden ensure there is always access to a shaded area.



But most importantly enjoy the heat and sunshine safely, from all of us at the PVH!


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