Nebraska Humane Society treats first case of heatstroke – Tips on staying cool

By on June 9, 2016

The Nebraska Humane Society (NHS) has picked up and treated its first dog of the season with heatstroke.

A black lab escaped from home this morning and was picked up by animal control on a busy street. According to Pam Wiese of the NHS, “She was anxious and stressed, which added to her becoming overheated.” The pup came into the shelter with an internal temperature of more than 107 degrees.

After fluids and a cooling IV, she appears stable and should be okay. The dog had identification tags and, Wiese says, “We are attempting to contact her owners.”

Overheating can occur during the most mundane of activities when the temperatures get this hot so, again, we stress looking out for the pets. Below are a few tips on keeping your pets cool and comfortable, care of the Nebraska Humane Society.


We’re not sure why they call these the dog days of summer, because most dogs can’t handle this heat. We all know the basics of no dogs in cars when the temps are above 73, but there are other tips for keeping your canine and kitty comfy.

  • Limit exercise: Every year we get in strays that are overheated. They are out on their own, excited, running, and get overheated quickly. Playtime is an exaggeration of this, so keep activity to short 5 minute intervals and make Fido take rest breaks and drink water. Or exercise in an air conditioned space.
  • Watch where you walk:  Outdoor Summer festivals can seem like perfect activities to attend with your dog. However, hot asphalt and concrete can blister paws. Make sure you watch his movements and get him to grass or dirt if he begins lifting his paws.
  • Use Sunscreen: Pets with pink skin, and white hair are especially susceptible to sunburn. Noses and ears and areas that don’t have much hair are too. Check with your veterinarian for a non irritating zinc oxide type sunblock that you can apply 20 minutes before he or she goes outside–even if it’s just to potty.
  • Bring plenty of water and offer it frequently!
  • Take shade breaks: You may love to sunbathe—but your dog can overheat far more quickly than you. Move from shady patch to shady patch if your pooch is with you.
  • Ventilation:  Dogs need cool air to inhale—to expel the heat of their bodies. So if the only shade that is available is a small closed-in space like a dog house (or a car!)  that won’t keep your pet cool.  He needs ventilated shade and plenty of fresh water.
  • Watch for distress signs: In both dogs and cats this can include panting that lasts more than a few minutes, pacing, increased heart rate, respiratory distress, lethargy.   Get him into air conditioning, apply cool wet towels, and get him to a vet.
  • Leave pets at home: They will enjoy napping in the air conditioning as much as a hot noisy stressful day.


Stay cool and stay safe this and every summer. If there’s any doubt about whether to bring your dog along, then there is no doubt- leave him home.

Also, be sure to check out this heat stroke survival guide for dogs from Puppywire.




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