How to Prevent Heatstroke in Dogs

How to Prevent Heatstroke in Dogs

As summer approaches, it is time to remember dog heatstroke safety. To keep your dog safe this summer, read about preventing, detecting, and treating heatstroke.


While no pet owner ever wants to experience dealing with heatstroke, high temperatures can cause your dog to suffer from hyperthermia. They become unable to regulate their internal temperature which can be dangerously high, usually at about 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Heatstroke is very serious and can lead to a number of critical health concerns.


How to prevent heatstroke


  • Never leave your dog inside a parked car. Not with a window cracked, not if you’re just running into a store for a minute. Never. Temperatures can soar to over a 100 degrees in just 10 minutes.
  • Avoid walking your dog in the heat of the day. Walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening whenever possible. Bring water on your walks and stick to shady routes.
  • Make sure your dog has enough water. Dogs don’t sweat like we do, and need to regulate by drinking water, panting, and resting in a cool area. Keep those water bowls full!
  • Make note if your dog is panting heavily, has a loss of energy or is stumbling. This may be a sign of impending heatstroke. Give them some water, take them out of the sun, and let them rest.


How to detect heatstroke


Some signs of heatstroke are


  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Fever
  • Lack of urine
  • Rapid pulse
  • Seizures


You know your dog best, and are their best advocate when they are showing signs that they are not themselves. If you notice any of the above signs after your dog has been in the heat, treat them for heatstroke.


How to treat heatstroke


Immediately take your dog to a cooler area. Inside is preferable, but a shaded area will do if you are stuck outside. From there:

  • Work to lower their internal body temperature by soaking them with cool water. Be careful not ot use ice water as it can drop their temperature too much. Adding a fan will also help cool them.
  • Provide them with cool water to drink.
  • Call your veterinarian. Advise the clinic your dog has suffered from heatstroke so they will be prepared to assist when you arrive.
  • Your veterinarian will manage your dog’s care once they have been seen and assessed.


Heatstroke is scary, but the risks can be mitigated with proper safety and cooling techniques.


If you see a pet in a locked car in warm weather, call the local animal authorities! They will be able to respond safely and with the correct tools.


Enjoy the summer with your pets, there is so much fun to be had! Hike, walk and swim together, there is nothing like a summer adventure with a pet in tow. Taking extra care and knowing the signs of heatstroke will help keep your dog safe. If you have any additional questions about how to spot or treat heatstroke, reach out to your veterinarian.