What people don't keep in mind is that their dogs do not handle the heat the same as humans. They cannot sweat to cool themselves. Dogs pant to cool themselves but it is not nearly as effective as sweating. This is especially true with brachycehphalic (short nosed) dogs-Boxers, Bull dogs, Boston Terriers, etc.-overweight dogs, dogs with heart trouble and dogs that are exercising too much in the heat.
As with most things, prevention is everything! An overheated dog can die rather quickly if measures aren't taken.
WAYS TO PREVENT HEAT STROKE
Water: When outside your dog MUST have excess to plenty of water.
Shade: There should be adequate shade so that your dog is has a choice whether he wants to be out in the sun or protected from the sun.
Time: Your dog should not be left outside for long periods of time when it is hot outside. If it is hot to you then it is hotter to your dog because of his coat and the inability to sweat.
Exercise: If you are going to exercise your dog do it early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cooler outside. NOT in the middle of the day when the rays of the sun are strongest.
Car:Why people leave their dogs in cars when it is hot outside is beyond me. The temperature in the car is usually 15-20 degrees hotter inside than out and even with the windows down this is too hot. Your dog can die in as little as 10-15 minutes.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Your dogs gums and tongue may appear bright red.
Hyperventilation,ie. breathing rapidly or irregularly.
Vomiting or diarrhea
Body temperature will be elevated, sometimes above 106 degrees.
They can even have seizures.
What to do
This is a life threatening situation and needs immediate veterinarian attention. There are a few things you can do if you vet has to call you back or on the way to the veterinarian office.
Cool your pets body temperature down with cool water soaked towels. Note cool not cold. Cold water could send your dog into shock with a sudden drop in body temperature.
Encourage him/her to drink small amounts of water. Large amounts at a time will only make the dog vomit. The dog does need electrolyte replacement but oral is not nearly enough-it needs to be IV.
Again, this needs to be treated as an emergency.
This is a very serious condition and needs immediate medical condition as heatstroke can cause kidney failure, brain damage or bleeding disorders rather quickly.
REMEMBER, AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE IN THE CASE OF HEATSTROKE. DON'T TAKE ANY CHANCES IN HOT WEATHER. ITS NOT WORTH THE RISK!!!