Dog heat stroke info

Dog heat stroke is an after effect of spending too much time in direct sun or humidity.

Animals who's ancestors lived in continental climate are better adjusted for warm, even very hot weather. They handle high air temperatures much better than animals we brought from north.

But, no matter what dog breed you have, if a dog is outside and active for more than an hour sunstroke can happen. It can even happen in a closed room, if it is very warm and the room has no air circulation. In this case the outcome can be heat stroke.

What causes dog heat stroke?

It is caused by hyperthermia (body temperature higher than normal) which happens after being exposed to the heat too long.

The risk of heat stroke and sunstroke is much higher for animals from the north because they have more trouble regulating temperature than the animals bred for generations in warm air climate. A good example would be Siberian Husky (in the photo), Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Samoyed.

dog heat stroke puppy
Photo courtesy of Pamela Carls

To prevent this, there are certain dog heat stroke prevention measures because heat exhaustion is very dangerous.

If you are traveling you should never take a pet that has never traveled by car before. Try taking him for short rides first so you would know how will he react to travel. Once your pet is set to travel by car provide him with maximum comfort.

If your car does not have air conditioning, you will need to make more short breaks so the dog can get out, eat something light and drink water.

In case he is vomiting, which happens a lot during car travel, rehydrate him and do not feed him anymore.

dog playing at the beach

Never leave a dog alone in a closed car parked in direct sun. This will cause heat stroke that will most likely kill the dog. So if you notice any heat stroke symptoms start the first aid and heat stroke treatment measures.

Cats handle it better

Unlike puppies, cats have the instinct to take care of themselves. They rarely have similar problems which is interesting since they are even more sensitive to the heat than dogs are.

As long as you don't lock them in a closed environment, the cats will regulate their body temperature and the time they spend in the sun.

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