Hot Dog: How To Prevent And Treat Heat Stroke In Dogs

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

Dog panting in hot car (caption: Heat Stroke In Dogs prevention & treatment)Warm weather is idealistic for pet owners to enjoy the outdoors with their furry best friend. It’s tempting to take Fido with you to run errands and on family trips. But what happens when they become too hot? As the temperature rises, dog owners must be aware of the potential warning signs of dog heat stroke in dogs how to prevent it before it’s too late.

Article Overview

Facts About Dogs Overheating

French Bulldog sitting on patio78 pets tragically died from heat stroke between 2018-20191. Luckily, there are many ways you can treat and prevent dogs from overheating so they won’t suffer the same loss. There are certain breeds and characteristics in dogs that are more prone to this condition. Pugs and bulldogs are susceptible due to their small, short skulls. Other dogs with underlying or known heart issues are also at risk.

Symptoms & Signs Of Heat Stroke in Dogs: What To Look For

While dog’s fur serves as protection during the winter, many dog owners may not be aware that their dog’s fur can be fatal in the heat of warmer months.

Panting can often be mistaken for excitement during a game of catch or the joy of seeing you. However, owners must be aware that this is a sign that dogs may be too hot and could potentially be suffering from a heat stroke. If a dog is sick, he or she will pant, and it could signify that they have a heart problem.

Illness, allergic reaction, dehydration and poisoning are other very important signs to watch out for. They also could be suffering from pneumonia and/or respiratory problems. Vomiting or lethargy could be signs of poisoning or a severe allergic reaction. You will need to look out for this especially if your dog is on any type of medication.

Treatment: How To Help Your Dog During Heat Stroke

Dog fur is equivalent to a human coat. Imagine wearing a jacket when it’s 100 degrees outside. You might have a heat stroke yourself! We can take a layer off if we get too hot, but dogs can’t. So what do they do to help bring their temperature down and cool off?

By panting, dogs are able to cool down by circulating air through their bodies. They can also reduce their body temperature by drinking or swimming in water.

If you notice your dog excessively panting when it is hot, you should move your dog indoors to a cool spot immediately and provide water. If it persists, please seek the help and expertise of a trained veterinarian.

Dog Heat Stroke Prevention

If you believe that your dog is suffering from a heat stroke, you must treat it as a medical emergency and immediately seek help. Be aware of your dog’s behavior, especially in the heat, by making sure that when you see any signs of struggle you do whatever is possible to help them cool off.

If you have an immediate emergency where you cannot contact a pet hospital, here are the steps you should take to cool your dog down:

  1. Give your dog plenty of water to drink and add a pinch of salt to help replace minerals lost due to panting. If your dog refuses to drink, put a treat in their water bowl or add water to their food to entice them to hydrate. And then keep an eye on your dog to make sure they can get outside if they need to urinate. Check out these dog water bottles designed specifically for pups with a dispenser attached.
  2. Place a cold pack or bag of frozen vegetables on your dog’s head to help lower their body temperature. But, do not leave it on for more than a few minutes at a time.
  3. Run a cool bath for your dog (too cold can cause shock). Be sure to keep your dog’s head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia. You can also use a garden hose to cool your dog down if a bath is not an option.
  4. Don’t ever leave your dog in the car while it’s hot! If you must do this, make sure it is receiving air and make it very quick. We recommend getting a temperature monitor that keeps track of the temperature inside your car and alerts your phone when it’s approaching dangerous conditions.

Don’t Leave Your Dog In The Car

Editor’s Pick
RV/Dog Safety Temperature & Humidity SensorRV/Dog Safety Temperature Sensor

Not only are natural causes responsible for heat stroke in dogs, but the carelessness of owners are the direct result of dog heat stroke as well. Don’t ever leave your dog in the car while it’s hot! Leaving a dog in a hot environment is a common cause of heat stroke. If you must leave your dog in the car when it’s hot, make sure it is receiving some type of air and make it quick.

If you must leave your pup in the car for any reason, we recommend getting a temperature monitor that keeps track of the temp inside your car and alerts your phone when it’s approaching dangerous conditions. The RV/Dog Safety Temperature & Humidity Sensor works without WiFi, simply put inside your vehicle or RV and it uses T-mobile or A&T’s 3G network to communicate with your Apple or Android phone when you’re away. There is a backup rechargeable battery and you can add up to five emails or phone numbers to get notified when the temp is unsafe.

PSA Video: Call 911 If You See A Dog In A Hot Car

Remember, you are your dog’s best friend! So it is your responsibility to take care of your pet that you welcomed into your family. Your dog is depending on you to help keep them safe, so make sure that you’re able to take measures to prevent heat stroke, recognize the symptoms, and understand how to best treat your dog in the midst of a heat stroke.

Dog in a hot car

Fun In The Sun

Looking for fun things to do with your dog in the summer? Check out this travel guide. And if your pup spends a lot of time on concrete in the heat, you might consider getting booties to protect their paws from burning and sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

Has your dog suffered from a heat stroke before?

Sources: [1] The Zebra, PetMD and

About The Author:

Sadie graduated from the Moody School of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors in Advertising and minor in Business. Her love of pets started from an early age with her childhood cocker spaniel, Peanut, and two cats. She is currently dog mom to Lexie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

As a professional dog sitter for more than a decade, Sadie has cared for dozens of canines of various breeds, sizes and temperaments. The responsibility of caring for others' pets has helped her understand the importance of giving animals a loving home. She has experience potty and house training as well as teaching dogs tricks such as sit and shake. Sadie is passionate about canine well-being so she feeds her pup all-natural meals and no table scraps.

Sadie and her husband live in Washington DC and enjoy walking Lexie to nearby dog parks or patios and taking her canine companion on trips. Having an adventurous, long-haired Blenheim means frequent baths and home grooming to maintain a clean coat. A small dog also requires more frequent dental care and Sadie is proactive with Lexie's oral hygiene.

She has been covering dog-related topics since 2012 and is proud to share her latest personal experience, resources and information with fellow pet parents. Her expertise has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest, Apartment Therapy, and other regional news organizations.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments