Heat Stroke in Dogs

Did you know that dogs can die of heat-related illnesses in less than 15 mins! 

Because dogs have limited ability to sweat they pant and use shade to cool themselves down on warm days. Because they also love to run around and play nearly three-quarters of heatstroke cases develop while playing and exercising. It can also be caused by simply sitting somewhere too warm even in a room without proper ventilation, or sitting in the sun too long.

We know it is tough esp when you are on holiday and just want to let them play all day but they don't know their limits so you need to help them, if it is 19 degrees and above your dogs can be at risk of heat stroke

Signs of heatstroke can progress quickly and can include according to the PDSA:

  • Mild:

    • Panting
    • Fast breathing/difficulty breathing
    • Lethargy (low energy)


    • Drooling
    • Foaming at the mouth
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Bright red gums/very pale gums
    • Shaking
    • Weakness and collapse


    • Confusion
    • Seizures
    • Unconsciousness
    • Vomiting with blood
    • Diarrhoea with blood

If you think your dog may have heatstroke it is vital that you immediately contact a vet while cooling them down. Early advice and treatment are essential to saving a dog’s life. Research has found that in the UK, although 1 in 7 dogs that are taken to vets with heatstroke die, 98% that are seen with mild signs are likely to survive.

Tips on how to help a dog with heatstroke:

  • Stop them exercising, move them out of the heat and into the shade
  • Call a vet for advice
  • Lay them down on a cool floor
  • Offer them small amounts of water to drink
  • Carefully pour water over the dog’s body, or sponge them if water is limited. Particularly focus on their neck, tummy, and inner thighs. Ideally continue to do this until their breathing returns to normal. Make sure the dog doesn’t inhale any water while you’re trying to cool them down. 
  • Fan them with cool air or put them in an air-conditioned room or car if possible. The impact of fanning them, or putting them somewhere that’s air-conditioned, will be best if they’re already wet


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