Heatstroke in dogs
Symptoms of heat stroke
- Panting and has heavily red mucous membranes/gums
- Increased heart rate and breathing difficulties
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Anxiety, confusion and convulsions
- Elevated body temperature
What do I do if my dog has heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition for a dog that requires veterinary care. If your dog suffers from heat stroke, it's important to get the body temperature to stop increasing.
Carefully dip your dog in water or rinse them with cool water, about 15 degrees. Avoid ice cold water as it can worsen the condition. Ice cold water causes the blood vessels to constrict and reduces the effect of the cooling.
During the trip to the vet, your dog can be wrapped in wet, cold towels. They must be changed often to avoid them getting warm. At the clinic, the vet can then continue the treatment to stabilise the body temperature and then gradually lower it.
Dogs cannot sweat
Dogs can't sweat, but they can sometimes get damp paws when stressed. Panting is a dog's way of lowering their body temperature. If the surrounding air is warm and humid, the effect of the panting can be the opposite.
How to take care of your dog in the heat
The best way to prevent heatstroke is to always allow your dog to have access to fresh air, water and shade. Avoid walking when it's hottest and be careful if exercise your dog on hot days.
Related guides and advice
Keeping your pets cool and safe: Essential tips for hot weather care