In the last two months, BluePearl hospitals have seen 13 animals who have died from heat-related diagnoses. Here’s what pet owners should know.

With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees in states around the country, many owners are taking precautions to keep their pets cool – like scheduling dog walks in the early morning and checking pavement temperatures before heading out. To help dogs beat the heat this summer, BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital is offering tips for avoiding and recognizing heat stroke in dogs.

There are ways pet owners can prevent overheating from progressing to heatstroke, but they must know the signs, and act quickly,” said Dr. Kevin Kelley, Emergency Service Head at BluePearl. “Most often, heat stroke is caused when a pet is left in a confined space with little or no ventilation during periods of warm temperatures and high humidity. While this is the most common scenario we see, it can happen anywhere – even walking outdoors on a semi-hot day.” 

Heatstroke is considered a pet emergency. If not treated, it can result in gastrointestinal upset, internal organs dysfunction, internal bleeding, infection, or in severe cases, death. Heatstroke occurs when a pets’ body mechanisms cannot keep their body’s temperature within a safe range. Pets are unable to sweat like humans, so the effects of heat are felt more quickly and strongly.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs

Take these simple steps to prevent heatstroke during periods of warm weather:

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Pets can easily suffer from heatstroke. The signs of heatstroke can include:

What to Do if You Suspect Your Dog Has Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is extremely dangerous, but it is also preventable,” said Dr. Kelley. “If you notice your pet is panting heavily, lethargic, or uncoordinated, get them cool quickly. But remember: Even if you cool your pet down, they still may need veterinary care and possibly medication.” 

Here are a few immediate things you can do if you suspect your dog is overheating:

Ways to Help Your Dog Beat the Heat 

Remember: The effects of heatstroke are often subtle and not immediately apparent. Bring your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital for treatment if you believe your pet is overheating or having heatstroke.

Learn more about pet heatstroke and other summer dangers in this All About Pets segment.