The Ultimate Guide To Treating Heatstroke In Dogs

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Heatstroke can be deadly to both humans and pets, especially if left untreated. Heatstroke in dogs means the body is no longer able to regulate its core temperature and decides to shut down in order to protect the brain. It affects the dog’s ability to thrive not only because it drains all energy, but because it can lead to seizures or coma. Dogs affected by heatstroke will show signs of intense panting, drooling excessively, weakness or lethargy, and may even refuse food.

Dogs are susceptible to heat stroke just as humans are, but they have a tougher time with it because the environment is not always as hot for them. This can be especially true if their fur is long or has been shaved since it’s easier for them to overheat. While the majority of cases of heat stroke are caused by natural disasters, some people can make mistakes that cause their dog to come down with this dangerous condition.

Signs And Symptoms Of Heatstroke In Dogs

Heatstroke is a potentially fatal condition that causes the body to rapidly overheat. In dogs, symptoms of heatstroke can vary from panting and general lethargy to more severe symptoms that require hospitalization. A doctor should be contacted if a dog shows any of the following symptoms:

  1. Rapid heart rate
  2. High fever
  3. Elevated body temperature
  4. Seizures
  5. Difficulty breathing
  6. Vomiting
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Lethargy
  9. Drooling

What To Do If Your Dog Is Experiencing Heatstroke

Heatstroke In Dogs

Avoiding heatstroke in your dog can be difficult in the heat of summer, but it is important to remember the signs and take the necessary precautions. There are several myths that may lead you to believe that you need to cool your dog off IMMEDIATELY with water, ice cubes, or cold compresses. This is not true. Instead, bring them inside! Bringing your dog inside a cool, quiet environment will help to cool your dog down before they develop health complications.

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Causes Of Heatstroke In Dogs

A dog’s body temperature exceeds 104° F by more than 3°, they are said to have heatstroke. This usually happens when the dog is left outside on hot days for hours without water or shelter. Other causes of this condition include overexertion on a hot day, obesity, kidney failure, heart disease, some medications, and brain disease. Sometimes this occurs as a result of exercise or extreme heat, but it can also be hereditary or brought about by illness.

Treatment For Heatstroke In Dogs

Since summer has hit, we often hear about people and animals suffering from heatstroke. Did you know that your dog may also be at risk of developing it? Dogs can suffer from heatstroke in much the same way humans do when it becomes too hot outside and they can’t cool themselves down.

For dogs, there are three main ways that the body handles excess heat: panting, sweating, and seeking shade. When these methods are ineffective because the dog is too hot or in danger of dehydration, vets recommend cooling measures like removing heavy clothing, applying ice packs to gum lines (not in the eyes!) and fanning the pet with a towel soaked in cool water.

Prevention from Heatstroke In Dogs

Heatstroke In Dogs

Hot weather can be hard on both humans and pets. Dogs, in particular, can suffer from heatstroke as a result of exposure to hot environments. In the summer months, mere exposure to heat over a short duration can cause heat stress which can lead to heatstroke. This is a life-threatening condition that if not addressed quickly and effectively may result in death.

There are a few simple steps that can be taken to keep your dog cool and comfortable all summer long. The following are some preventative measures that can be taken:

  • Stay hydrated by providing plenty of freshwater for your dog. Provide fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Just make their feet clean.
  • Provide ample shade in your yard.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise on hot days.
  • Keeping their fur as dry as possible.
  • Try to keep them out of direct sunlight whenever possible.
  • Use a fan or portable air conditioning unit.
  • Choose a breed that does not require excessive panting in order to regulate body temperature (such as an Australian Shepherd).
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Difference Between Heatstroke & Heat Exhaustion

Heatstroke In Dogs

There are many different types of heat-related illnesses that affect humans. Some are worse than others. The two most common, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, can be differentiated by the presence of symptoms.


Heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion happen to the best of us. However, there is a major difference between the two. Heatstroke occurs when your body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. It is caused by an increase in body temperature due to excessive activity or prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion typically occurs when you exercise for a long time in heat and humidity, and it’s usually brought on by dehydration and/or excessive sweating. It is a form of heart disorder, which typically occurs when someone who is not used to the heat or not properly hydrated tries to do too much. Heat exhaustion can be caused by prolonged exposure to heat or dehydration. It can also occur if the person sweats excessively without adequate fluid intake.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be avoided during treatment?

The dog that has been diagnosed with heatstroke should be hydrated and given a cool environment to recover in. It is important not to put ice directly onto their stomach, as this can cause more stress on the body’s temperature regulation center – which may make the heatstroke worse. A cool bath or shower can also help significantly with recovery from heatstroke. The dog should not be physically active for at least 24 hours after the heatstroke to avoid injuring themselves from exertion.

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How long does heatstroke in dogs last?

Heatstroke in dogs can be scary and life-threatening. It is important to know how long it will last because your dog’s temperature can keep rising even after it has been cooled down. If the temperature stays at 105 degrees Fahrenheit for more than an hour, the dog may go into a coma and die. The length of time heat stroke lasts depends on many factors such as age, breed, size, and how overheated the dog was before cooling them down.

How does a dog act after heat stroke?

A dog can experience a heat stroke after being in an environment that is too hot for a long period of time. Signs of a heat stroke include increased thirst, increased panting, lack of coordination, a fast or thready pulse, and seizures. If your dog experiences any of these signs after being in an environment with high temperatures for an extended period of time, it is advised to take them to the nearest animal hospital as quickly as possible.

Can dogs fully recover from heatstroke?

Dog owners should be aware of the danger of heatstroke because it can kill their pets. A heat stroke happens when the animal’s body temperature rises above 104°F. It could happen if they don’t have enough access to water or if they are not able to cool themselves off somehow. It can take up to 72 hours for a dog to recover from a heat stroke. During this time they are weak and drink more water than usual.

Is Heat Stroke painful for dogs?

Too often people take their dogs outside in the heat of summer without realizing that they are at risk for heatstroke. Although this may seem like a minor illness, it can be very painful for dogs. A dog’s body temperature will rise quickly to dangerous levels, and they will start to pant heavily, salivate excessively, vomit, or have diarrhea. If not treated soon, the dog may collapse or convulse before eventually succumbing to death.


Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that affects dogs, humans, and even livestock. It should be treated as an emergency by seeking medical attention immediately. To prevent this deadly ailment from happening to your dog, make sure to keep outdoor areas cool with shade. Keep them hydrated with water, and avoid letting them rest in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

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