Perfectly healthy dog dies of heatstroke – here are the warning signs all owners need to watch out for

Animal protection organization the RSPCA have issued a fresh warning to all pet owners after a perfectly healthy dog died of heatstroke. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are urging people to keep an eye on the signs before it gets too late, in a bid to save more animals from succumbing to this most avoidable of fates.

“We do understand the crucial nature of walking your dog, however please bear in mind that walking in high temperatures can cause serious and irreversible damage, and in some cases death,” the organization said in a statement, as per British newspaper Metro.

Unlike humans, dogs are unable to sweat when overheated, and so are dependent on cooling themselves via their paws or mouth.

In the past few years, there’s been a surge in warnings regarding animals – particularly dogs – being locked in cars and other vehicles when its warm. This has contributed to an increase in general awareness when it comes to the dangers, though there hasn’t been nearly the same emphasis when it comes to educating people on the possible issues related to dogs exposed to heat outside.

Heatstroke signs

At the weekend, Metro reported that a perfectly healthy dog in Britain died as a result of heatstroke after a regular walk on a warm day. Consequently, the RSPCA is aiming to make all dog owners aware of the warning signs when it comes to their pet potentially overheating. The most common indicators of heatstroke are as follows:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Fatigue
  • Sticky or dry gums
  • Hyperventilation
  • Staggering or uncoordinated movement
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures

What to do

According to the RSPCA, if you believe your dog is suffering from heatstroke, it’s best to move them into a shaded, cool area and call a vet. To alleviate symptoms, douse them with cool – not cold – water. Towels can be particularly good for this, whilst you should continue rubbing them until their breathing begins to settle again.

Dog died of heat stroke
Photo: Shutterstock

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