HEAT: Dangerous For Your Pet, How To Protect Your Pet

As some of you may know Phoenix is under an excessive hear advisory.  I wanted to remind everyone to please hydrate, stay indoors and be very careful.  I also to wanted to remind everyone to PLEASE protect your pets from the heat!!!!!  Recently 2 dogs died because they were left out In the sun all day without shade or water.  See story link below.  Animal control has been busy all day with calls from concerned people where people have left their pets outside.  If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pet!

Summer and excessive heat cannot only be uncomfortable for your pet but dangerous!  The sun can be a danger to your dog’s limits and you need to be aware of warning signs and sign of heat stress.  Like people dogs can suffer from heat cramps, heat stroke and heat exhaustion.  Heat exhaustion can lead to death.


Dogs don’t sweat but panting allows dogs to evaporate water from their respiratory track and it is their way to get rid of some heat.   But on extremely hot days, this mechanism gets overwhelmed and can become inflamed causing difficulty breathing.

Provide dogs with shade trees

Dogs can suffer from Hyperthermia.  “Although normal values for dogs vary slightly, it usually is accepted that body temperatures above 103° F (39° C) are abnormal.  Heat stroke, meanwhile, is a form of non-fever hyperthermia that occurs when heat-dissipating mechanisms of the body cannot accommodate excessive external heat.” www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/cardiovascular/c_dg_heat_stroke   For pets heat stroke is a life-threatening condition characterized by an elevated core body temperature and central nervous system dysfunction.  Despite aggressive lowering of core body temperature and treatment, the pathophysiology changes associated with heat stroke can lead to multi-organ dysfunction, which can be fatal. http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/heat-stroke-diagnosis-and-treatment

Now that we got the complicated definitions out of the way, let me tell you what kind of dogs are at most riskhttp://www.medicaldaily.com/how-heat-can-be-dangerous-dogs-tips-protect-your-pet-stroke-and-exhaustion-summer-246824

  • puppies up to six months old
  • large dogs over seven years
  • small dogs over 14 years
  • overweight dogs
  • overexertion dogs
  • ill dogs, or dogs on medication
  • dogs with cardiovascular disease and/or poor circulation
  • dogs with a previous history of heat-related disease
  • brachycephalic dogs (short, wide heads, or smushed-faced dogs) like pugs, English bulldogs, and Boston terriers
  • dogs with heat intolerance due to poor acclimation to the environment (heavy-coated dogs in a hot geographical location)
  • dogs with underlying heart/lung disease
  • dogs with hyperthyroidism (increased levels of thyroid hormone)
  • dehydrated dogs with restricted access to water
Certain breeds are more prone to over heating!



So what are the sign of a dog that is overheating:

  • sluggishness
  • unresponsiveness
  • appearing disoriented
  • bright red gums, tongue, and/or eyes
  • excessive panting
  • high body temperature
  • noisy breathing (this may indicate an upper airway obstruction)
  • rapid heart rate
  • irregular heart beat
  • muscle tremors
  • wobbly, uncoordinated movement

Extreme signs of overheating include vomiting, which could eventually lead to collapse, seizure, or coma.  If you dog shows any of these sign get to your veterinarian immediately.


What can you do to prevent your pets from suffering from the heat?

  • NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG/PET IN A PARKED CAR!!!!! The inside of your car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even if you’re parked in the shade.  Studies have shown cracking a window literally does nothing!  So imagine how hot your car would get inside if the outside temperature is over 100!  I have included a link at the bottom of this blog to place in cars reminding people to not leave pets in cars.


  • Don’t put your dog in the bed of a truck. Your dog will be exposed to direct sunlight and metal parts that may cause burns.
  • Provide plenty of shade and water. Dogs should not be tied up because their ties may cause to tangle and not be able to reach water or shade.  Dog houses are not good ideas because air can’t circulate in them.  Under a patio or shade tree is the best.  Dogs cooling beds and dog cooling pads work great indoor and out. But you still must check your pet often.
  • Limit exercise on hot days. Dogs will go and go until exhaustion. You have to be the lead and take your dog inside. If the ground is too hot for you bare feet, it is too hot for theirs!  Dogs paws can burn and crack which is very painful for them.  I have dog booties for my dog on hot days.
  • Don’t take your dog to the beach. The hot sand can affect your dog’s ability to cool down later. Remember dog’s skin can also sunburn so avoid the beach on sunny hot days.
  • Keep old and overweight dogs out of the heat. These dogs are prone to heart and lung disease.
  • Don’t rely on a fan.

Failure to provide proper shade and water to a dog left outside can get you arrested for Animal Cruelty!

Dogs in a kiddy pool


So what do you do if you find a dog suffering in the heat outdoors:

  • Get your dog out of direct heat
  • Check for shock
  • Take your dog’s temperature
  • Spray your dog with cool water then retake temperature
  • Place water – soaked towels on the dog’s head, neck feet, chest and abdomen, turn on a fan and point it in your dog’s direction,
  • Take your dog to the nearest veterinary hospital

The goal is to get your dogs temperature to below 103 degrees within 12 -15 minutes.


I hope you find some of this information is helpful.  The recent dog deaths in Phoenix have broken my heart. They were unnecessary.  All you have to do is remember:  IF IT IS TOO HOT FOR YOU, IT IS TOO HOT FOR YOUR DOG OR PET! Let me know how you keep your dogs cool in the summer. Send me a photo too.



Don’t leave your pet in a parked car! FLYER



Community outraged after dog left to die on hot patio