6 Warning Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Summer means relaxation, vacation and having fun in the sun, but extreme heat can put your pets at risk of heat stroke. To ensure that your four-legged family members will stay cool and safe during the hot season, here are the signs to look for to detect looming heat stroke on your dogs.

1. Heavy Panting
Most pet owners know that one of the ways dogs cool down is through panting. But did you also know that there are varying degrees of how heavily a dog pants? When they are in an environment with warmer temperature, dogs usually start with a slightly opened mouth panting. As the temperature rises, it will progress to fully opened mouth panting, with swollen tongue that hangs out to the side of the mouth. If you start to notice heavy panting on your dog, get him to a shady spot and let him have some water.

2. Excessive Drooling
If you see your dog drooling, it could be that he’s having a hard time cooling down. Salivating is a dog’s way to dissipate heat better than simply panting. But of course, it is best to not wait until your furry friend is drooling like a leaking faucet to get him indoors and cool off.

3. Lying Down Frequently
When on a stroll, you may notice your dog trying to take a break and lie down more frequently than usual. This is one clear sign that Fido is feeling the heat and probably needs to cool off inside immediately. Let him recover for a little while and then offer some water. If your dog collapses, bathe him in cool water and rush him to the veterinary clinic.

4. Change in Tongue Color
According to animal health experts, a bright red tongue are possible signs of your dog suffering from heat exhaustion. Also, mind the gums as any discoloration can indicate that your dog is overheating and is in need of water and cool environment, as well as veterinary care if it gets worse.

5. Dizziness
Do you notice your dog having trouble walking straight or keeps bumping into things? They might be feeling lightheaded from heat and dehydration. Get him to a cooler room and offer him water.

6. Acting Weird
In addition to unable to walk straight, symptoms of heat stroke in dogs can resemble a drunk person. Your dog may display signs of disorientation and lethargy—or even may collapse. These symptoms alone warrant a call to an animal hospital.

Be sure to always take precautions—like limiting playtime outdoors, bringing water at all times and never leaving your pup in a hot car. Heat stroke is also a serious problem on animals, but recognizing the signs and symptoms makes a great difference in saving your beloveds pet’s life.