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Signs To Know If Your Pet Is Overheated

It has been extremely hot the past couple weeks. With the heat index exceeding over 100’, the temperatures make it hard to enjoy any outside activities. Not only does the high heat index affect children, the elderly, and people with respiratory health issues, but it also affects animals as well. Pets should also be limited outside during these high heat index temperature. Animals can also be affected by a heat stroke.

Here are some signs to determine if your pet is overheated.

  • Heavy Panting

  • Excessive Thirst

  • Glazed Eyes

  • Vomiting & Bloody Diarrhea

  • Bright or Dark Red Tongue, Gums

  • Staggering

  • Elevated Body Temperature

  • Weakness, Collapse

  • Increases Pulse & Heartbeat

  • Seizures

  • Excessive Drooling

  • Unconsciousness

If your pet is showing one or more of these symptoms, there are important things to do and not do when cooling an overheated pet.

Here are some tips of how to treat heat stroke in dogs and cats.

  1. Move your pet into a shady or air-conditioned environment.

  2. Put a cool, wet towel or blanket underneath him.

  3. Offer him small amounts of water frequently if it’s alert enough.

  4. Take note of the time. This is helpful if you take you take your pet to the vet.

  5. Measure rectal temperature with a thermometer. If its temperature is above 104’F, spray cooling water all over its body. Stop cooling if its temperature lowers to 103.5’F.

  6. Take note of the time that cooling was stopped and at what temperature he was at when cooling was stopped.

  7. Bring your pet immediately for veterinary evaluation and care.

Here are some important aspects of cooling in cases of a heat stroke in cats and dogs.

  • Do NOT pour water into the mouth of a collapsed or unconscious pet, and don’t force any pet to drink water either.

  • Do NOT use ice water or an ice bath to cool an overheated pet.

  • Do NOT cool your pet too fast

  • Monitor rectal temperature every 30-60 seconds.

  • Stop cooling once rectal temperature reaches 103.5°F.

These are conditions to NOT attempt first aid for pets with heat related issues.

  • Attempting first aid will unnecessarily delay veterinary treatment

  • You don’t have a thermometer

  • No access to cool water

  • Attempting first aid will stress out your pet

  • Your pet is vomiting, has diarrhea, or is bleeding

  • Your pet has collapsed, unresponsive or having seizures

It is only July and it’s only in the middle of the summer season. Please take notice of any animal out in the heat. When in doubt, just bring your pet for veterinary evaluation, as heat-related illnesses are nothing to be trifled with. These are cases where it’s truly better to be safe than sorry.


(804) 867-7184 or (301) 848-5048

Virginia, USA

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