- Get your pet out of direct heat and into a cool place.
- Take the animal's temperature using a rectal thermometer lubricated with petroleum jelly.
- Spray the animal with cool water. If using an outdoor hose, run the water for a minute or so to cool it off before spraying your pet. Spray for a minute or two, then retake the temperature.
- Use ice packs or place water-soaked towels on the head, neck, feet, chest and abdomen.
- Turn on a fan and point it in the animal's direction.
- Offer your pet some cold water to drink or an ice cube to lick.
- Rub alcohol under the animal's front and back legs or on the pads. Do not use large quantities of alcohol (more than half a pint), as it can be toxic to dogs and cats.
- Take the animal to the nearest veterinary hospital immediately.
The goal is to decrease the body temperature to 104 degrees F. in the first 10-15 minutes. Once 104 degrees is reached, you must stop the cooling process. Even if you successfully cool your pet down to 104 degrees, you must take the animal to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Many consequences of heatstroke won't show up for hours or even days. Some of these conditions can be fatal if not treated medically.
Summer is a time for both you and your pets to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors, but along with the fun, the season also offers up situations that can endanger your pet. By taking precautions, you can decrease the chance that disaster will happen.