Photo of Golden Retriever dog playing in the creek.

Recognize Heat Stress Before It's Too Late

by Kris Phillips

Heat stress, heat stroke, or hyperthermia as it’s officially know is a very real concern, especially this time of year. Recognizing when your dog is in trouble could be the difference between “whew, that was a close one” and the “worst summer ever.”

Signs to look out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling or frothing
  • Red gums or tongue
  • Dis-coordination
  • Stumbling
  • Tremors or Siezures
  • Inability to produce urine
  • Dehydration
  • Body Temperature 106 or over

While any dog can succumb to heat stress some dogs are far more likely to struggle. 

  • Senior dogs
  • Very young dogs
  • Thick or double coated dogs
    • Huskies, shepherds, Newfoundlands
  • Brachiocephalic or “smooshy-faced” dogs
    • They tend to lack to ability to breath well enough to cool themselves sufficiently
    • Think Bulldogs & Pugs
  • Black dogs
    • Just like the asphalt that coat absorbs the heat of the sun

***If you suspect your dog is in trouble seek immediate veterinary care.***

Tips to help your dog avoid Heat Stress in the hot summer months.

  • Stick to early morning or late evening walks/ hikes
  • Choose trails which are heavily shaded
  • Find water activities they might enjoy
    • Hike along a stream where they can jump in
    • Take fetch to the lake
    • A lot of dogs love paddle-board (just make sure they’re cooling off in the water from time to time)
  • Make sure they drink lots of cool water
  • NEVER, EVER leave your dog in the car
  • And just like you shouldn’t leave them out in the cold, don’t leave them outside in the heat either
    • Not all dogs are smart enough to know when to cool off


Keep Your Pups Safe & Have a Happy Summer!

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