White terrier wearing tropical flower garland chilling on the pink rubber flamingo

Heat Wave Alert

Temperatures are predicted to rise drastically this weekend. 

The risk of our furry companions developing heat stroke is certainly something to look out for during these summer months. Heat stroke is a dire medical emergency that demands our attention and action.

Here’s what you need to know to keep your pets safe and cool this summer season:

Dogs Most Vulnerable to Heat Stroke:

  • Elderly
  • Overweight
  • Brachycephalic Breeds: Think pugs, bulldogs, Frenchies – their short muzzles make cooling down more challenging.
  • Dogs with Respiratory or Heart Disorders
  • Thick-Coated or Dark-Coated Dogs

Recognizing the Warning Signs:

Early signs of heat stroke include seeking shade, whining, heavy panting, reluctance to play, and excessive drooling. Later signs may manifest as weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, or even collapse.

Prevention is Key:

  • Limit Outdoor Time: Especially during extreme heat and humidity.
  • Provide Shade and Water: Always offer a shady retreat and plenty of fresh, cool water.
  • Adjust Exercise: Save vigorous activities for cooler times of the day, like early morning or late evening strolls.
  • Never Leave in Cars: Even for a few minutes, a car can become a death trap.
  • Hydration is Vital: Encourage frequent water breaks, consider making these frozen dog treats if your dog isn’t inclined to drink water.

What to Do if Heat Stroke Strikes:

  • Cooling Measures: Move your pet to an air-conditioned space with water access. Wet them with cool water (particularly face and feet) and position them in front of a fan. For double-coated breeds (Huskies, Pomeranians) ensure they’re wet down to the skin, but never cover them with a wet towel.
  • Seek Veterinary Attention: If symptoms persist or worsen, including difficulty breathing, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, or collapse, contact our clinic right away at 604-898-9089 or book online at www.gvh.ca (for emergencies, always call us).

Additional Precautions on Hot Days:

  • Mind the Pavement: Hot asphalt and pavement can scorch sensitive paw pads, so opt for grass or walk during cooler times of the day.

Make this season safe and enjoyable for our furry companions by staying vigilant and proactive against the heat wave’s threats!

Together, let's maintain and maximize your pet’s health... for life!

ask the vet


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine / Hospital Director

Dr. Tom Honey hails from Campbellford, Ontario. His veterinary education took him to the esteemed Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, followed by several years in Toronto area practices.

Dr. Honey believes his role is to advocate for pet health, starting with illness prevention. At the same time, he is committed to developing leading edge diagnostic and treatment techniques. He engages in countless hours of continued education in dental care, diagnostic ultrasound and internal medicine. These tools help him diagnose and best treat patients suffering from health problems ranging from the common to extremely obscure.

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