Heat Stroke Prevention Warning Signs and Treatment

Hot and humid conditions are here for the foreseeable future. The following information was provided to us by Denice Rackley, who is a freelance writer, an RVT, a working Border Collie breeder/trainer and a livestock producer.

Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

Summer heat is upon us in the Ohio valley.  We head to pools, lakes or inside in the afternoons but we need to be aware of the health risks heat poses to our pets.

Dogs can overheat due to exercise in warm weather and being confined in a hot environment with no way to get out of the heat or cool off.  People do not realize they can also overheat in rather cool temperatures due to mental stress and anxiety.

Evaporative cooling is the most efficient means of lowering body temperature.  We are able to sweat over our entire body, dogs can’t because of their hair.  Panting is the primary means of evaporate cooling for dogs. High humidity quickly multiples the concerns of summer temperatures.  Similar to us when the humidity is high dogs have difficulty keeping cool becoming overheated more easily. Overweight dogs, dogs that are not physically fit and those that are medically compromised have even a tougher time with weather extremes.  Overheating can cause organ and heart failure, it can be fatal.  Knowing how to prevent heat stroke, the warning signs and action you can take immediately to cool a dog could save your dog’s life.

Preventing Heat Stroke

Knowing how your dog normally behaves in warm or humid weather is the first step to recognizing warning signs.  Most dogs’ normal temperature is 101 to 102.  It is not uncommon for dogs that are nervous or scared to have temperatures of 102.5.  (Temperature can be taken rectally with a normal human thermometer.)  After exercise the temperature can easily be 103.  If they reach 104 some dogs will exhibit warning signs of becoming to hot.

Preventing heat stroke is easier than treating a dog after it has overheated.

  • Know your pets’ normal temperature
  • Provide clean cool water to keep dogs hydrated
  • Exercise early morning / late evening
  • Provide small amounts of water frequently
  • Take breaks during training or exercise allowing pets to cool off
  • Walk dogs on grass or dirt rather than cement/asphalt
  • Offer opportunities for your dog to take a swim or cool off in running water
  • Feed smaller meals
  • Be aware of what is “Normal Behavior” for your dog
  • Know your vets’ policy on emergencies
  • Know the location and phone number of the nearest 24 hour emergency clinic


Signs of Heat Stroke

Dogs can exhibit multiple signs of overheating.  The first signs can be subtle continuing to get more serious as the condition worsens.  Most agree that a temperature of 103 is high. A temp over 106 indicates the dog is in immediate danger and veterinary care needs to sought.

Signs of overheating and heat stoke can include

  • Slower to respond to commands
  • Panting excessively – panting can turn loud and raspy indicating air is not being moved efficiently
  • Squinting or Glazed eyes
  • Weakness – most notice in rear legs first
  • Wobbly, Lack of Coordination
  • Disorientated
  • Gums and/or tongue becoming bright red or blueish
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Loss of Consciousness

If caught early simply offering cool water to drink and running cool water on the dog’s stomach, legs and paws will help lower their temperature.  Putting a dog in a tub of water, allowing it to stay there is not as effective as running water over the dog or having the dog get in and out of water.  When a dog is immersed in a tub of water the water trapped in the hair will get warm acting as an insulator against the cooler water.  Just getting a dog wet is not the point, you want the water to be cool taking heat from the body then away from the dog.  You need the water to evaporate aiding in cooling. Placing the dog in front of a fan or in air conditioning will help with evaporation.

A Caution

If the dog is alert offer cool water to drink but only allow a few laps of water at a time every few minutes. Swallowing lots of water while panting excessively could lead to the dog swallowing air possibly leading to bloat.  Do not force your dog to drink which could result in water getting into its lungs.  Monitor the dogs temperature every 3 minutes.  As soon as their temperature begins to drop stop cooling efforts and continue monitoring.  Dry the dog off, keeping them in a cool environment.  If you continue cooling you may cause the temperature to drop to low.  Once the dog’s temp is normal and panting has slowed more water can be offered allowing the dog to rehydrate itself.

Dogs don’t lose electrolytes through exercise like we do. Oral replacements of electrolytes are not effective.  If a dog exhibits heat stroke there are physiological changes that make intravenous fluids and electrolytes necessary.

Do not confine a dog to a crate that has had recent exercise even if they appear fine.  This is especially true of warm dogs that are wet.  The crate will act as sauna.  The water being cooler than the dog restricts the blood vessels reducing the blood flow to the dog’s skin forcing the heat inward raising the dogs temperature.  A crate restricts air flow preventing evaporative cooling.  The dog will be hotter inside the crate than outside.

Contact your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog.

Risk Factors

While All dogs are at a certain risk for overheating there are some breeds that have a higher risk.

  • Brachycephalic breeds (those with short noses and/or flat noses) shih tzus, pugs, boxers, bulldogs…
  • Overweight dogs
  • Those of compromised health – breathing problems, heart conditions, very young or old dogs
  • Extremely active dogs – hunting and herding breeds. Some of these dogs will keep going till they drop so it up to you to have them take frequent breaks to hydrate and cool off.
  • Environmental factors can place a dog at risk ie no shade, confined in sun, high humidity

Dogs can over heat rather easily. It is up to you to know your dogs normal behavior and the warning signs that your dog is getting overheated.  Prevention is rather simple – provide cool water, shade, frequent rest breaks for your four-legged friends in an environment with good air flow.  The best course of action is to prevent this potentially life-threatening condition.

By Denice Rackley


Opening of 2020 Agility Season: Try It Day and Classes Start

Flying Paws Agility is happy to announce the start of our 2020 class season!

Bring your dog to join us at our annual free Try It Day on Saturday, April 4 from 2 until 4 p.m. at our facility at 6695 N. Bottom Road in Bloomington, IN.

We’ll have club members and instructors on hand to answer all of your questions.  And, there will be an agility demonstration as well as a free give-away of some awesome Flying Paws items.

Classes will begin the week of April 6.  We have changed our class structure a bit to make it even better for our students.  We encourage you to take a look at the class description and if you have any questions, please email us today!


Last free Try It Day of the year: Sunday, Sept. 22

We hope that you and your dog will join us on Sunday September 22 from 2-4 pm for a FREE Try It Day at Flying Paws Agility!

If you’ve been thinking you would like to try this fun team sport with your dog, now is the time!!

Pro tip:  Bring lots of small, easy eaten treats and a HUNGRY dog with you.

The next session of classes will then start the week of September 30–and you can sign up  at the Try It Day to reserve your spot!

Shoot us an email at: FPAgility @ gmail.com to let us know you are coming or to ask us any questions in advance.




Correction to Agility Foundations for August/September

Sorry, we made a mistake on the time for our Friday Agility Foundations class.  The class will meet at 6 p.m. (not 6:30 as we originally stated).

Sorry for any inconvenience!  Definitely let us know if you are interested in a spot in this class, as we need to limit the spaces to ensure that everyone gets great instruction!

Class starting Friday, August 9. Email us at fpagility @ gmail.com today to reserve your spot.


August/September 2019 Classes Announced!

We will start the next session of classes on Monday, August 5!  We are reaching out to students to let you know which class you should sign up for, but if you have any questions, contact us at:  FPagility @ gmail.com.  Thanks! PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE TWO SECTIONS OF INTRO TO HANDLING, THURSDAY AND SATURDAY!

All classes are $90, payable the first night of class. You can print and fill out the class form and bring with you: Class Registration Form

Mondays, 6:30 p.m.:  Intro to Obstacles

Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.: Teeters and Weaves

Thursdays, 7:45 p.m.: Intro to Handling

Fridays 6:30 p.m.: Agility Foundations

Saturdays 11:30 a.m.:  Intro to Handling

Please contact us and let us know which class you are interested in so we can be sure you will have a spot.  Class size is limited!!



Flying Paws Agility Presents ~ Karen Lechner ~ Let’s “Handle” It


Let’s “Handle” It!

Saturday, September 14th and Sunday, September 15th, 9 am to 5 pm

Agility veteran Karen Lechner (Pawz4Success) loves teaching her students to be fair, clear, and consistent in training. The result is her students create confident dogs and handler teams that love the sport, performing with speed and accuracy!  With Karen’s instruction you will learn the techniques needed to be a successful handler.

Working spots limited to 11 per day; Auditing spots unlimited

Day One: Mind your P’s and Q’s
Day Two: “Handle” your Teammate
Cost:  $160 Per day working spot – Auditing spot $45 Per Day
To Register, Email:  FPACEvents@gmail.com
Location: Flying Paws Agility Club, 6695 N Bottom Road, Bloomington, IN 47404

DAY ONE:   Mind your P’s and Q’s
Session will focus on the understanding of the P’s and Q’s of agility.

P’s: (path and position)
-Maximizing the use of the PATH of your dog
-Understanding and perfecting your POSITION

Q’s: (OK, it’s really C’s but that doesn’t have the same ring to it)
-Utilizing your body, motion and timing to CUE your dog
-Learning how to obtain COMMITMENT and go

Prerequisites:  Dog must be at least one year old, competent on all obstacles with sequencing experience.

DAY TWO:  “Handle” Your Teammate
This session focuses on “handling” the dog that you have.

-Incorporating more complex and challenging handling sequences
-Making the best handling choices for your team
-Mastering your handling skills
-Learning the importance of correct placement of reward

Prerequisites:  Dog must be at least fifteen months old, proficient on all obstacles with full sequencing experience.

About Karen
It all began for Karen in 1996. It was at that time that she purchased her first Labrador retriever, Cody. She had started agility “just for fun”. After a few years she proudly became the sixth person in the country to earn a Master Agility Championship (MACH).

Since then, Karen has earned many placements and titles in both agility and obedience with several of her dogs; earning both obedience championships (OTCH) as well as agility championships (MACH). Karen currently competes in agility with her two labs Pepsi and her newest addition Tag, who is truly giving Karen a run for her money!

MACH SHR Rhumbline’s High Grade MXG MJS JH “Grady”
In 2011 Karen and Grady qualified to try out for and attended the AKC World Team tryouts in Minnesota, where they had some beautiful runs!  In an arena full of border collies, Grady stood out, being the only Labrador to try out in the large dog division.

OTCH MACH3 SHR Rhumbline’s Pepsi With A Twist UDX11 OGM MXG MJG XF “Pepsi”
In 2012 Karen’s other Labrador, Pepsi, became the first female black lab in the United States to earn both her Obedience Trial Championship (OTCH) and Master Agility Championship (MACH). Karen and Pepsi have had the honor of being invited and attended three National Obedience Championship (NOC) events around the country.

MACH SHR Rhumbline’s Catch Me If U Can CDX GN MXS MXJ MXF WC T2B JH “Tag”
Tag is currently Karen‘s youngest teammate; only three years old he already has a list of accomplishments to his name. In addition, he has qualified and competed in the 2018 and 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Agility event, is a “Top 25 Labrador” for 2019 and he has qualified for the 2020 AKC National being held in Perry Georgia.

Event Hosted by:
Flying Paws Agility Club
6695 N Bottom Road, Bloomington, IN 47404
Website:  flyingpawsagility.com
To Register, Email:  FPACEvents@gmail.com

Prepare for CPE Nationals, or Run for Fun

Flying Paws Agility Club, is excited to host a

CPE Nationals inspired Run Thru

again this year, and everyone is invited

May 4th 12:00 – 4:00

Don’t have enough Q’s for CPE Nationals?  With us, it doesn’t matter.

Practice for CPE Nationals by running courses inspired by previous Nationals events,        OR the time is yours, work all, or parts of the course, make up your own course, or work on a specific skill, in a somewhat trial-like environment.

Last year’s attendees had a great time, and we expect the same this year.

We have 2 dirt rings ready for you to dig into.

Standard with embedded Traditional Jackpot and Jumpers

Set up and check-in from 11:00 to 11:45

First run at 12:00

$15 for a full day (per dog) or $5 for a single run

To register and pay by check, or if you have questions, email us at FPACEvents@gmail.com

Or go to our Facebook Shop and pay with a credit card using the link below:

Address: 6695 N Bottom Road Bloomington, IN 47404

images (2)





No food or beverages available at the event


One Mind Dog Seminar – with Ali Yaden-Schwartz


Saturday, April 27th and

Sunday, April 28th, 9 am to 5 pm

Join us as Ali does one of her favorite things, which is teaching handlers how to communicate with their dogs in a way the dogs naturally understand the course.

The seminar is Level I, One Mind Dog Training

Working spots limited to 8 per day (wait list only); Auditing spots unlimited

Cost:  $135 Per day working spot – Auditing spot $50 Per Day
To Register, Email:  FPACEvents@gmail.com

Location: Flying Paws Agility Club, 6695 N Bottom Road, Bloomington, IN 47404

DAY ONE:   Skills which will be taught:  Front Cross, Rear Cross, Blind Cross, and False Turn.  Prerequisites:  Dog must be at least one year old, with sequencing experience.

DAY TWO:   Skills which will be taught: Backside Send, Reverse Spin, Whiskey Cross, and Lateral Push.  The key learning is doing all your handling from the dog’s perspective–a very eye-opening experience for most.  Prerequisites:  Dog must be at least one year old, with sequencing experience.

About Ali

Ali’s passion as a handler and trainer is to learn as much as possible to help herself better communicate with her dog on course. She strives to do her best to bridge the “language barrier” between dog and human in training, and to learn how to communicate to her dog in the simplest and most natural way.

Ali holds critical thinking as one of her main strengths as a trainer. She analyzes and troubleshoots.  If a handler has a miscommunication with her dog on course, Allison is able to step back and help the handler analyze what the body language conveyed and how to change it to strengthen the dog’s understanding.

“I never feel it is possible to know ‘enough’. I do my best to constantly expand upon what I know and grow to be the best teammate possible for my dog and to help others grow with their dogs.”

Ali is an upbeat and positive instructor. She does her best to foster both the dog’s and handler’s enthusiasm and confidence on course. She loves to help her students set individualized goals and guide them to reach those goals. “I try to really invest myself in helping each one of my students be the best teammate they can possibly be.”

One of Ali’s favorite things to teach her students is how to communicate with their dogs in a way their dog naturally understands on course. She loves to teach handling techniques, as she feels it’s an area where one can really illustrate through the elements and 3Cs (One Mind Dog techniques) how to speak your dog’s language.

Ali, an instructor at Pawsitive Partners, currently has Border Collies Syke and Trek who compete in USDAA and AKC agility.  Syke has qualified for Nationals in USDAA.  Early in her agility career she trained a sheltie mix, a beagle and a Chihuahua mix.  To Ali, helping all teams achieve excellent communication is the biggest reward.

Event Hosted by:
Flying Paws Agility Club
6695 N Bottom Road, Bloomington, IN 47404
Website:  flyingpawsagility.com
To Register, Email:  FPACEvents@gmail.com