With the hot weather already here in France and many months of summer to come, I thought I would discuss heat stroke, the signs and what you can do if your dog suffers from it.

Because of course, when it gets warmer we change our clothing for something lighter, but animals can’t. Admittedly, they do shed hair but even so they cannot shed it to that extent, even if it looks like it on your carpet. Also short nosed breeds of dogs are more prone to suffer from this like Bulldogs and Pekinese.

Signs of Heat Stroke

Probably the easiest to notice is excessive panting and/or laboured breathing.

Others include:

Dark or bright red gums and tongue.

The tongue and gums may be sticky or dry.

A high body temperature, 104-110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your animal may stagger.

Suffer a seizure.

It may vomit or have bloody diarrhoea.

As the symptoms progress the animal may even go into a coma, stupor and may even die.


So what can you do?


As a responsible pet owner it is important to know how to take an animals temperature, and to take if you suspect anything is wrong.

It is wise to learn how to take your pet’s temperature in the event of an emergency. Here’s a video for guidance.

The best thing to do if you suspect your animal is suffering from heat stroke is to obtain veterinary help straight away.

Until this is possible you should:

Immediately get your pet out of the heat and into some shade and start to cool him/her down by:

Using cool NOT COLD water (very cold water will make the blood vessels constrict and stop cooling) put wet cloths on its feet and around its head. Be careful not to let the body temperature go the other way – below 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whilst travelling to the vets if possible offer the animal ice cubes to lick, or let it drink  a little cold water, but do not give it ice cold water.

If your pet appears alright still have the veterinarian check them over, the stroke could have caused internal problems not visible to an untrained eye.


Hopefully, the above will have given you pocket guide as to what to do, if your animal suffers heat stroke.

Susan and Toby

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