Why winter heat stroke in dogs isn’t to be sniffed at
January 21, 2024
Not many dog owners would consider heat stroke in dogs to be an issue once the weather starts to get colder. Vet Ruth Mackay advises that although this condition is typically associated with summer, there are certain circumstances that could increase the risk of your canine companion becoming affected by heat stroke in winter too. Keep Rowan Vets’ phone number stored in your mobile and contact us if you need our help – 01772 639 800.
Why some dogs get heat stroke in winter
Overheated indoor spaces
If your home is overheated due to malfunctioning heating systems, excessive use of space heaters, or a closed-off room with poor ventilation, Vet Ruth Mackay advises that your pet may be at risk of heat stroke. Ensure that indoor temperatures are comfortable for your dog and not excessively warm.
Leaving pets in cars
Pets left unattended in parked vehicles during winter can still be at risk of heat stroke if the vehicle’s interior becomes too warm. The sun’s rays can heat the car’s interior even on a cold day. On the flip side, being left in a cold vehicle can lead to hypothermia.
While it’s essential to keep pets warm during winter walks in and around Preston, over-dressing them in heavy coats or sweaters can cause them to overheat. Ensure that your pet’s attire is appropriate for the weather and temperature conditions. If left alone indoors, extra layers should be removed and blankets used to warm up your pet, allowing them to move out from under them if they get too warm.
Exertion during cold weather
When dogs engage in strenuous physical activity, like running or playing fetch, they can generate enough body heat to become overheated even in cold weather. Vet Ruth Mackay recommends watching out for signs of overheating during winter activities – see below.
How to prevent heatstroke this winter
- Provide a comfortable indoor environment with regulated temperatures.
- Avoid leaving pets unattended in parked vehicles, even in cold weather.
- Monitor pets for signs of overheating during outdoor activities, and take breaks as needed.
- Dress pets appropriately for the weather, considering their breed and size.
- When indoors, warm your dog with blankets instead of dog clothing.
- Check heating devices or appliances in the home that could lead to excessive indoor heat.
Remember, the signs of heat stroke in dogs can include heavy panting, drooling, weakness, vomiting, and even collapse.
If you suspect your pet is experiencing heat stroke, seek immediate veterinary help by calling Rowan Vets on 01772 639 800 and take steps to cool your pet down gradually while waiting for professional help.