How to protect your pet from deadly heatstroke as temperatures soar in Thailand


Hot weather affects furry animals more than humans, a fact tragically illustrated each April by the many reports of pets dying from heatstroke during Thailand’s hottest month.

As summer temperatures soar beyond 36C in Thailand, it’s not just humans who are feeling the heat.

Imagine wearing a fur coat in this weather, and you can appreciate what our furry friends must be suffering.

This year, organizers of the Thailand International Dog Show have highlighted nine breeds that are at higher risk of heatstroke.

Owners should be extra vigilant about the well-being of the following breeds and avoid exposing them to the hot summer sun:

– Chihuahuas
– Bulldogs
– French Bulldogs
– French Mastiffs
– Greyhounds
– Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
– Pugs
– English Springer Spaniels
– Golden Retrievers

Heatstroke occurs in pets when their bodies cannot dissipate heat effectively, resulting in higher-than-normal body temperatures – typically above 41C.

The increased heat threatens the functioning of internal organs.

How to protect your pet from deadly heatstroke as temperatures soar in Thailand

This condition can occur in pets of all kinds, but dogs and cats are especially vulnerable as they only have sweat glands on their paw pads and noses. Thus, they rely heavily on breathing and panting to cool down, but this may not be enough in hot weather.

Symptoms of heatstroke to look out for in pets include:

– Rapid or laboured breathing
– Irregular heartbeat
– Excessive drooling
– Wet nose and/or mouth
– Dark red gums
– Seizures, muscle tremors or stiffness
– Loss of consciousness
– Body temperature above 41C

A basic way to prevent heatstroke is to avoid outdoor activities for pets during hot weather and keep them in a well-ventilated space away from direct sunlight.

Ensure there is a continuous flow of air but avoid direct exposure to air conditioning or fans.

How to protect your pet from deadly heatstroke as temperatures soar in Thailand

Also, make sure your pets are well hydrated by providing them with water to drink.

Use a damp cloth if you think they may need help to cool down, but avoid using ice-cold water or ice packs as this can cause shock.

Veterinarians recommend the following first aid for pets experiencing symptoms of heatstroke:

– If your pet is in a hot, crowded area, move them to a location where the air circulates freely and remove anything that restricts their movement, such as collars, leashes, or clothing, to help them breathe easier and cool down.

– Use a damp cloth to wipe their body, focusing on areas like the armpits, groin, and under the paws.

Avoid using excessively cold water as this may lead to shock.

– Massage their legs to stimulate blood circulation.

After administering first aid, it's crucial to get your pet to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible for thorough examination, diagnosis, and treatment.