As muc

h as I love my pets and try to make sure they are taken care of during the hot weather, I almost lost my 12-year-old Pekingese Gizzie to heat-related illness this week.

Other than the six two-legged "animals" I have living at my house, we have four dogs and a cat.

When our dogs are outside, we make certain they have access to plenty of water. They also have plenty of shade and cool areas to relax. And, boy, do they enjoy relaxing!


Wednesday afternoon, I visited with the dogs while they were outside, made sure they were okay, and then went inside. Later, my husband comes into the house with my Peke who had literally fallen over and was panting very fast. Gizzie couldn't stand up. My heart clenched.

I quickly googled "how to treat heat stroke in dogs" and began running tap water over Gizzie to cool him down. After about 10 minutes, I wrapped him in a towel and got him into the coolest room in the house. He perked up, began to roll around, drank some water, and was fine within the hour.

I learned a number of valuable tips I want to pass along:

  • dogs with flat faces, like pugs and pekingese, or short noses are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses
  • very young and very old dogs are more susceptible to heat
  • excessive panting and/or excessive drooling may be signs of hyperthermia or heat stroke
  • walking like they are drunk is a symptom of hyperthermia or heat stroke

We hear stories about how quickly heat can affect us AND our animals. I'm so very sorry that my Gizzie had to be my example.

IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG for him to be affected by the heat. I am adjusting our routine. And I will keep a closer eye on them.