How to protect your pet from heatstroke this summer

How to protect your pet from heatstroke this summer

It's not just humans who'll suffer from spiking temperatures
Updated 14 Apr, 2019

This article was originally published on June 7, 2017.

As temperatures rise and the heat becomes intolerable, we aren't the only ones at risk of dehydration and heatstroke.

Animals -- whether they're pets or strays -- are extremely vulnerable to hot weather if they're not looked after properly. Animal welfare groups like the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation in Karachi have reported numerous cases of animals suffering from dehydration.

So how can you help? The folks at Paws Pakistan helped Images compile a handy guide.

How can you tell if an animal is dehydrated or suffering from heatstroke?

Keep a close eye on your pets in hot weather. One sign of dehydration and heatstroke is heavy sustained panting (panting is how they keep themselves cool and that becomes a problem if the body temperature has gone above a certain degree that they can control through natural mechanisms).

Your dog may also start breathing heavily, with difficulty, frothing at the mouth too.

If a pet is dehydrated or suffering from the heat you'll see a general weakness in walking or standing, loss of direction and orientation. Like a human gets dizzy in over heated conditions, animals too become lethargic, listless and disoriented.

How can you treat heatstroke in animals?

Give the animal cool water to drink -- not ice cold.

If your dog doesn't want to drink water, don't force it, try chicken or beef broth, cooled.

Spray water on the animal's body and keep it uncovered in a breezy, windy space. You may need to set up a fan. As the water evaporates from its fur the body temperature will cool down. Do not ever cover its body with a wet towel.

Keep the animal moving around.

What precautions can you take to prevent heatstroke?

You can feed your dog yoghurt ice cubes (7 cubes if the animal is a medium to large breed).

House your pets in a shaded area. Make sure they have a cool surface to lie on.

If your pet is not an indoor pet, make sure you set up a fan for it outside. If your pet lives indoors and/or has thick fur you may keep it in an air conditioned room.

Make sure the animal has access to a bowl of cool drinking water at all times.

On extremely hot days, mix a little ORS into your dog's water bowl.

Note: If you feel your animal is too ill for basic intervention or beyond your help, please call a veterinarian.


Imran AB Jun 07, 2017 11:08am
Thanks for all the valuable information.
desi dimag Jun 07, 2017 11:45am
Lol, think about human being first.
Sanam Jun 07, 2017 12:33pm
This is only for dogs. It would be helpful if you could include cats and birds also in guidelines and precautions for summer.
dr.chaydhry Jun 08, 2017 04:56am
if the pet has heat stroke and is dehydrated ,take to the so a proper treatment be given asap
Sameer Jun 08, 2017 11:23am
@desi dimag dont worry. We'd do it for you too.
Jannat Gilani Jun 13, 2017 05:13am
Great job!
Jannat Gilani Jun 13, 2017 05:13am
Great job done!
the sheikh May 20, 2018 06:19pm
Agree with desi dimag. Many poor people die in Pakistan of heat related issues due to poverty. This is not USA. Protect human being first.
DaveF May 20, 2018 09:02pm
Good to see humanity at work in Pakistan, trying to save the best friend of men and women. Dogs are the most loyal friends we humans can ever have.
Aamir May 20, 2018 09:52pm
@desi dimag No one's stopping you from 'thinking about human being first'
shinu May 21, 2018 09:01am
@desi dimag Dogs are the most loyal animals, where as humans back stab you. so it is first priority to save dogs than humans.
Anand May 21, 2018 10:35am
Great Article, Applicable anywhere in the World ! Thanks !
Masood Abbas Apr 14, 2019 09:59pm
Be kind to all living creatures, specially birds and animals as they can not speak out.