Heat Exhaustion in Dogs: Prevention is Key

Animal Clinic of Verona

August, 2016

The summer months can be brutal for DOGS! Many succumb to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and death! Think about it...your pet walks around in a fur coat all the time! On top of that dogs can’t sweat! Their only way to try and cope with the heat is to pant. So let’s dive into the specifics: who is at risk, what are the signs, and how you can PREVENT heat exhaustion from happening.


Plain and simple ALL dogs are susceptible to heat exhaustion! That being said you should be especially careful with puppies, pregnant dogs and geriatric dogs. They are at high risk for heat exhaustion, heat stroke and possibly even death. Likewise, even if it is an overcast day dogs can easily become overheated. Be aware of the temperature and the amount of time your pet stays outside.


Make sure you know the signs of heat exhaustion. You could save a life!

  • Rapid panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Thick, sticky saliva
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting - sometimes with blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Shock
  • Coma


First and foremost it is your job as a pet owner to BE AWARE and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!

  • SHADE: This is a crucial element. Make sure your pet always has a way to escape the sun by having adequate shade.
  • WATER: On a hot day your dog needs at least 3X as much water. Make sure the water is fresh, plentiful and easy to reach!
  • COOL BATH: Lots of pet owners use kiddie pools to give their pet a way to escape the heat. If you don’t have one try a cool bath from the hose. Your pet will find it refreshing.
  • EXERCISE: It is important to limit the time your pet exercises on hot days. For instance, if it’s hot don’t take your pet out for a run with you leave them at home.
  • CAR RIDES: NEVER and we mean NEVER leave your dog in a locked car during the summer. Doing this is like putting your pet in an oven! Cracked windows are not enough!

Keep your pet safe this summer and remember prevention is the key to avoiding heat exhaustion, heat stroke and death in dogs. If your pet is showing signs of heat exhaustion don’t hesitate to take them to a Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. Time is very precious in these situations. Have more questions? Ask Us at Animal Clinic of Verona “Where Pets are FAMILY.”

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The Animal Clinic of Verona is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley!

We are conveniently located near the following localities:

Staunton, Augusta County, Verona, Fishersville, Penn Laird, McGayhesville, Waynesboro, Weyers Cave, Shenandoah Valley, Highland County, Harrisonburg, Churchville, Stuarts Draft, Grottoes, Port Republic, Harriston, New Hope, and Crimora!

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