Heatstroke in dogs

Heatstroke in dogs

Don’t be a victim of heatstroke in dogs.  Know the symptoms and how is it treated. Heatstroke is very dangerous, especially for small dogs like Morkies. Heatstroke in dogs and in people, occurs when it’s so hot out, the body can no longer cool itself. As it gets hotter and hotter, internal organs are damaged and start to fail. Kidneys can suddenly give out. Severe enough, and your little dog will die.

Hyperthermia, or high body temperature, can happen to dogs more easily than us, because they can’t sweat to cool down like we can. Instead, dogs eliminate heat by panting. (Some sweat glands in the dog’s footpads can help with heat dissipation, but only minimally.) When panting isn’t enough, their body temperature rises.

Signs of heatstroke in dogs

At first, a dog with heatstroke seems very anxious, won’t settle down and pants a lot. Sometimes he might drool or vomit. As he gets hotter, you may see lethargy, muscle weakness, inability to stand and seizures.

Take your dog’s temperature*

To find out if your Morkie has heatstroke, take his temperature. If it is above 104 degrees (40 C), then he has heatstroke and the situation is serious.

Download this handy temperature guide, in Celsius and Fahrenheit 


First aid for heatstroke

Don’t overdo the cooling though… never wet down your dog and then put him in front of a fan or air conditioner, for example.

Offer him water but never force it down his throat.

It’s suggested that you rub the dog’s legs vigorously, to encourage circulation and reduce the risk of shock.

tri colour morkie in sunglasses

Always get medical help ASAP to ensure that the internal damage has been stopped. Unseen damage can continue even though your dog’s temperature is down. Swelling of the brain, and abnormal blood clotting are just two examples.

How to Avoid Heatstroke

  • Always have plenty of fresh water available
  • Avoid exercise during the hottest parts of the day
  • Keep your Morkie at a healthy weight

I hope it goes without saying, never ever leave your dog in a car, even in the shade. Cars really are like ovens: when it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius) outside, in a car it can reach an unbearable 117 degrees F (47 C) degrees within the hour.

Be especially careful of very young or older dogs. They’re more susceptible. Don’t forget – It’s that time again – dogs in hot cars

Heatstroke can cause unseen problems, such as swelling of the brain, kidney failure, and abnormal clotting of blood. On the way to the veterinarian, travel with the windows open and the air conditioner on.

Should my Morkie have short hair in summer?

Not necessarily. Since Morkies have hair, not fur, there’s no heavy undercoat to make them super hot. And the hair protects your Morkie’s skin from sunburn and insect bites.

*How to take your dog’s temperature

Ideally you already have a digital thermometer meant for dogs. It’s used rectally, after you’ve applied a thin layer of Vaseline. In a pinch, you can use a regular baby thermometer.

Download this handy temperature guide


Hot asphalt awareness

Hot asphalt awareness

Fry eggs, not paws – from www.homesalive.ca

We know that cars get too hot for animals very quickly… but don’t forget asphalt!

How to quickly tell if the pavement is too hot for paws?  Press the back of your hand firmly against the asphalt for 7 seconds – this is how hot it will be to your dog’s paws.

If the air is just 85 degrees (that’s 30 Celsius) and the sun is shining, you CAN fry an egg on the pavement – in just 3 minutes!  So just imagine your Morkie’s little paws.

Summer tips for you and your Morkie

1. Avoid mid day sun and heat – try to take your walks early in the day.  Even early in the evening, the pavement, asphalt or sand can still be very hot from the daytime sun.

2.  Lots and lots of water.  For drinking and even splashing around. Try a little kiddie pool (hard plastic of course) with a few inches of water for your Morkie and watch the fun begin!


3.  Watch out for all hot surfaces, including sand, gravel, decks, docks, boats and even your car seats. Bring a spare towel to throw down if you can’t avoid these dangers.

too hot for spot

4.  Watch out for signs of heatstroke – which include excessive panting, drooling, weakness, shortness of breath an even collapsing.

5.  No air conditioning? If you’re leaving your Morkie all day, consider investing in a fan.

And of course, do not leave your dog in the car.  Ever.

Protect little paws


  • Great for protecting paws from heat, cold and salt
  • 100-percent wax-based cream
  • Available from Amazon


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