One of the most life-threatening errors people can make is to leave a dog in a vehicle during hot days. Dogs can’t sweat, as humans do, so they have to pant to cool themselves. If the air that they are taking in is too hot, as it is in a parked car in hot weather, then panting has little cooling effect and the dog quickly overheats.

Heat stroke in dogs

Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting that does not resolve as the pet rests, increasing distress, their tongue color is dark red to almost purple, weakness or collapse, hyper-salivation, vomiting and labored breathing. If you suspect a dog or cat is suffering from heat stroke, move him to a cooler environment immediately and apply cool water to the abdomen, ears and foot pads. Don’t pour ice water over the whole animal, submerge him in a tub of cold water or cover him in a cold, wet blanket. Once he is stable, get him to a vet as quickly as possible, even if he seems to be cooling down and his temperature seems normal. Things may be happening on the inside that are not obvious from the outside.