Pekingese Heatstroke

Pekingese Heatstroke

Due to the Pekingese dog’s brachycephalic head (flat faced), and the Pekes very short nasal passages, it is more difficult for him to cool himself down in hot , or even warm, weather by panting – which is how dogs cool themselves because they do not have sweat glands as humans do. In addition, the Pekingese also has a very thick coat, therefore they are more prone to becoming overheated or from suffering from heatstroke than other dogs.

Even in moderate temperatures, you should never leave a Pekingese in direct sunlight, or left outside without access to plenty of shade. They should never be left in a car as the temperature in cars can soar.  Leaving windows open is not adequate in preventing a fatal situation.

Tips to keeping your Pekingese cool:

  • When outdoors, provide a shady spot for her to cool off
  • Always have water for her to drink, even on walks
  • Never leave your Pekingese in a car, rolling the windows down is not enough
  • Keep the hair on her belly trimmed in the summer time
  • Consider a cooling bed for both indoors and outdoors

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If you must transport your Pekingese  using a crate, you should install a crate fan to regulate the temperature inside and keep your Pekingese cool during travel.

Signs that your Pekingese may have heatstroke:

  • Rapid loud breathing
  • Wide bulging eyes
  • Unsteadiness on feet, collapsing
  • Staggering and weakness

If your Pekingese  is displaying any of these symptoms and you suspect heatstroke, you must lower the body temperature quickly to prevent death.

First-aid for Pekingese heatstroke:

If at home, open the freezer door and hold the dog in the cold air. Keep talking to your dog, if her organs are starting to fail, her hearing will be the last to go and hearing your voice may give her strength.

If you do not have access to a freezer, place him in a bath of cold water up to his neck. Do not use ice-cold water initially,the shock of the ice cold water can actually cause your Peke’s body  temperature to rise further. As he begins to cool off and become calm you may slowly add ice cubes to the water. If you do not have ice cubes, remove him from the cold water and place him in front of  a fan.

Once you have successfully cooled and calmed your dog, contact your vet and let him, or her, know of the situation. Unless your car is air conditioned, do not jump right into the car and head to the vets office, the heat in the car is the last think your Peke needs, especially on a hot day.

Prevention is key. Take extra measures on hot days in regards to keeping your Peke cool.