It is important for all pet parents, especially those living in Florida, to understand what a pet heatstroke can look like and how to prevent it from happening to your furry family member. Heatstroke is a state of hyperthermia resulting in injury to your bodily tissues. Heatstroke occurs when the amount of heat generated in one’s body exceeds the body’s ability lose heat.

Causes of heatstroke:
• A warm/hot, humid environment with inadequate ventilation
• Inadequate shade
• Inadequate drinking water
• Excessive exercise

How to prevent a heatstroke:
• Have a cool, well-ventilated space for your pet to enjoy
• Give your pet access to fresh drinking water at all times
• Never leave your pet in a car
• Avoid exercising animals in hot weather
• Avoid having your pet stand on hot sand, concrete, or asphalt for any length of time

Symptoms of heatstroke:
• Excessive Panting (which increases as heatstroke progresses)
• Dizziness, staggering
• Lethargy/weakness
• Seizures and/or muscle tremors
• Collapsing and lying down
• Little to no urine production
• Agitation or restlessness
• Very red or pale gums
• Bright red tongue
• Increased heart rate
• Vomiting or diarrhea
• Mental confusion, delirium

If you suspect your pet is having a heatstroke:
• Remove your pet from the hot environment and get them into a cooler (preferably air conditioned) area
• Apply or spray tepid/cool water to their fur/skin (Note: Do not use ice cold water)
• Wet down the area around your pet with cool water
• Take your pet to the nearest Veterinarian