Help Your Dog Beat the Heat

Learn to recognize and prevent the signs of heatstroke.

Posted: July 30, 2010, 2 a.m. EDT

Yes, it’s hot out there. But for your dog, it’s even hotter.

“Dogs don’t sweat, and they’re wearing a fur coat,” says Kimberly May, D.V.M., the assistant director of professional and public affairs for the American Veterinary Medical Association. “They rely on panting, which is just not effective enough to cool them in a 110-degree car.”

Dark-coated and short-nosed breeds are particularly at risk for heatstroke, May says. Signs of heatstroke include hard panting, staggering gate, rapid heartbeat, listlessness, restlessness, dark red or purple gums and tongue, and vomiting.

A parked car is especially deadly to dogs. Even with the windows cracked on a mild 72-degree day, a car’s inside temperature can jump as much as 30 degrees in 20 minutes, May says.

If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, put a cold towel around her neck and take her in an air-conditioned car to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.

The best advice? Limit your dog’s car trips, especially during warmer weather, May says.

“I tell people, ‘Don’t put your dog in a car unless you’re coming to see me,’” she says. “If you love ‘em, leave ‘em home.”

For more information on preventing heatstroke in pets, check out the AVMA video library at




4 of 15 Comments View All 15 Comments

Give us your opinion Give us your opinion on Help Your Dog Beat the Heat

User Avatar

Sue   Three Oaks, MI

8/2/2010 7:25:53 PM


User Avatar

TC   Houston, TX

8/2/2010 2:32:03 PM

Excellent advice!

User Avatar

karen   boone, IA

8/1/2010 2:29:32 PM

Thank you for reminding people to love their pets is to leave them where it is cooler !!! If their pets could talk to you they would want to stay cool and be there when you come home. I leave mine at home when it is too hot! I want to see that smiling, happy face when I come through the door!!

User Avatar

momo   anaheim, CA

7/31/2010 10:22:48 PM

good info

Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below

First Name : Email :
International :
City : State :

Captcha Image

Get New Captcha

Top Products