Heatstroke in Dogs


Let’s face it, by the time most of us wake up during the summer, have our breakfast and plan the day out with our dog, the sun might already be very strong. While we and our dogs enjoy the outdoors it is important to watch out for signs of a heatstroke.

Avoid staying out with your pooch during the hottest hours of the day, specially if your dog doesn’t get into the water or is  of a breed with an dense coat or cold country breeds, e.g. Siberian Huskies

Make sure to provide a shaded place, if possible wet a place for your dog to lay down.

Make sure there is enough fresh water available at all times.

Let your dog into the water as much as possible and encourage swimming if your dog can swim (Read here about swimming dogs)

In case your dog doesn’t want to get into the water, wet your pooches coat manually, preferable with fresh water frequently.

Do not leave your dog in a parked car even if windows are left open, especially during day time and hot hours.

Major Symptoms of a heatstroke in Dogs

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling with thick and sticky saliva
  • Red, or pale gums
  • Light red tongue
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Increased body temperature – above 39 degrees

Head directly to the closest vet in case of:

  • Inability to focus
  • Dizziness
  • Coma
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

First Aid if you notice symptoms resulting from a heatstroke

  • You need to cool down the body of your dog GRADUALLY, rapid temperature loss can lead to a fatal shock.
  • Move your dog to a cool ventilated area, preferable in front of a fan or in an air-conditioned area.
  • Place your dog under the shower with cool (NOT COLD) running water over the entire body. Make sure the neck and back of the head get covered with water.
  • Give the dog plenty of cool (NOT COLD) water to drink, don’t force your dog to drink if not willing.
  • After cooling down a bit offer something refreshing to eat, e.g. a light yogurt

Please note, first aid is to be admitted as a preliminary cure, make sure to take your dog to a vet the soonest possible.

Read here about taking your dog to the beach