Dog Shade for Canine Heat Stroke Prevention

Dog shade is important when preventing canine heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when a dog is exposed to extreme heat. The dog's body suffers from hyperthermia and this condition must be immediately taken care of because it may be a fatal condition. The body temperature must be restored to normal.

Preventing heat strokes can be done by avoiding heat and the sun.

Signs of Canine Heat Stroke

Dogs don't sweat through skin but through nose and pads; dogs also release heat by panting. Due to this less effective heat release, dogs tend to overheat easily. The normal temperature of a dog is between 99° and 103° but if the dog heats up to 106°, irreversible cellular and organ damage can occur.

Heat stroke is signaled by the following symptoms:

  • Excessive panting
  • Red gums
  • Dry nose
  • Lethargy
  • Incapability to wake up
  • Collapse
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion

If the dog's temperature is above 103° this is also a sign of hyperthermia.

Treating Heat Stroke

As soon as your dog's temperature exceeds 103°, or if you notice any of the symptoms, you need to cool him down. You need to put the dog in the shade and make sure his body temperature doesn't increase more.

Put cool, moist cloths or towels on the dog's body to decrease his temperature. Cover his body and make sure not to miss the foot pads and the head.

Don't use ice cubes or pour ice cold water on your dog. Due to extreme coolness the blood vessels are narrowed and the body might react by elevating the temperature. On the other hand, ice may cause hypothermia, so the dog will start shaking.

If the dog's temperature lowers to 103°, you may remove the cold compresses.

Make sure your dog drinks fresh, cold water.

Go to the vet to make sure there is no internal damage.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke

Dogs like digging holes in the yard and stay there to keep cool during warm days. However, if you don't have a yard or if you dislike dog digging behavior, you may offer your dog alternatives: dog shade is important to prevent hyperthermia. Get a sun-reflecting canvas that will keep the temperature normal and offer your dog enough shade.

Keep your dog in the shade or inside the house during the day, when the sun is very intense: between 12 and 4 PM.

Avoid doing strenuous exercise with your dog when it is hot outside. The dog can get overheated when working out in the sun.

Make sure the water in the bowl is always cold.

Don't leave your dog in the car on a warm day, because the car can get overheated.

Some breeds of dogs are more sensitive to heat than others: white coated dogs and short nosed breeds such as bulldogs or pugs.

If the heat stroke causes cellular and organ damage, the dog will need treatment and most of the times the treatment is for life, so it is easier to prevent heat strokes.