Dog Heatstroke: Signs, Causes & How To React

Dog Heatstroke: Signs, Causes & How To React

So, you're out on a sunny day, enjoying the great outdoors with your furry friend. But wait, what's that? Your dog seems a bit off. Could it be... heatstroke? Don't panic just yet!

Let's dive into the world of dog heatstroke and uncover the signs, causes, and treatments. It's time to keep your pup cool as a cucumber!

7 Signs Of Heatstroke In Dogs

Heatstroke occurs when a dog's body temperature rises to dangerous levels, usually above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

It's like a hot dog turning into a roasted sausage, and trust us, you don't want that!

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Sign #1: Excessive Panting

If your furry friend starts panting excessively, it's time to pay attention. Dogs pant to regulate their body temperature, but when they're overheated, they'll pant like they just ran a marathon in the Sahara Desert. So, if your dog is panting like there's no tomorrow, it's a red flag!

Sign #2: Excessive Drooling

Is your dog drooling like a leaky faucet? While some drooling is normal, excessive drooling can be a sign of heatstroke. If your pup is leaving puddles everywhere they go, it's time to take action!

Sign #3: Lethargy & Weakness

Is your usually energetic dog suddenly acting like a couch potato? If they're showing signs of lethargy and weakness, it could be due to heatstroke. They might not have the energy to wag their tail or chase their favorite ball. Poor pup!

Sign #4: Vomiting & Diarrhea

Oh no, is your dog's tummy feeling queasy? Heatstroke can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. If your furry friend is experiencing these unpleasant symptoms, it's time to cool them down and seek veterinary help.

Sign #5: Rapid Heartbeat

Listen closely to your dog's heartbeat. If it sounds like a drumroll at a rock concert, it might be a sign of heatstroke. A rapid heartbeat is a clear indication that your dog's body is struggling to cope with the heat.

Sign #6: Pale Or Redder Gums

Take a peek at your dog's gums. Are they looking unusual? Heatstroke can cause pale gums, indicating poor circulation. If your dog's gums resemble a ghostly shade, it's time to take immediate action!


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Sign #7: Collapse Or Seizures

This is the most serious sign of heatstroke. If your dog collapses or experiences seizures, it's a medical emergency. Don't waste a second—get him to the vet right away!

If you notice any of these signs, act quickly to prevent heatstroke from turning your dog into a hot mess!

How & Why Does Heatstroke Appear?

Heatstroke sneaks up on our furry friends when they can't cool down properly.

Dogs don't sweat like humans do, so they rely on panting to regulate their body temperature.

When the heat becomes too much to handle, their internal cooling system goes haywire, and heatstroke crashes the party.

You may be interested in: A Pet Parent's Guide To Dog CPR

Heatstroke In Dogs Treatment At Home: Be Your Dog's Hero!

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, follow these steps.

1. Move To The Shade 🌳

Get your pup out of the sun and into a shady spot. It's time to create a cool oasis!

2. Hydration Station 🚰

Offer your dog small amounts of water to drink. Cool dogs with heat-related illnesses by using tap water (15-16 °C). Do not force your friend to drink. 

3. Wet & Wild 🛁

In strong heatstroke cases, water immersion or pouring water with air movement is the best option. Continue until your pup breathes easily, but stop before he starts shivering.

🛑 Take care not to pour water in your dog's head as he could drown.

In mild situations, you can wet towels and place them under your pup's body. Avoid placing wet towels over the dog as it can make the condition worse by trapping heat. 

4. Use A Fan 🪭

Turn on a fan to help lower the temperature around your dog.

5. Vet Visit 🧑‍⚕️

Even if your dog appears to be recovering, it's essential to seek veterinary care. Heatstroke can cause internal damage that may not be immediately apparent.

What Not To Do

When dealing with dog heatstroke, there are certain actions you should avoid. Take notes!

1. Do Not Use Ice Water 🧊

While it may seem logical to use ice water to cool down a dog with heatstroke, it can actually do more harm than good, as explained by Today's Veterinary Practice. Ice-cold water can cause blood vessels to constrict, making it harder for the body to dissipate heat.

2. Do Not Overexert 🏃‍♀️

Avoid excessive physical activity or exercise during hot weather. Overexertion can increase the risk of heatstroke in dogs.

3. Do Not Leave Your Pup In A Hot Car 🚗

Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car, even for a short period. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, leading to heatstroke.

Dog Heatstroke Is A Vet Emergency

Dog heatstroke is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Recognizing the signs, taking prompt action, and avoiding certain actions can help prevent complications and potentially save your dog's life.

Remember to always prioritize your dog's well-being, especially during hot weather.

Avoid heatstroke by keeping your dog hydrated, providing shade, and avoiding excessive exercise on scorching hot days. Now go forth, armed with knowledge, and keep your furry friend cool and happy!


Heatstroke In Dogs Treatment At Home 

What Are The First Signs Of Heat Exhaustion In Dogs?

The first signs of heat exhaustion in dogs are: 

  • Excessive panting and drooling.
  • Weakness or lethargy.
  • Bright red gums and tongue.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Unsteadiness or stumb.
  • Glazed eyes or disorientation.
  • Collapsing or fainting.
  • If you notice any of these signs in your dog during hot weather, act promptly to prevent heat exhaustion.

    Can A Dog Recover From Heat Stroke?

    Yes, with prompt and appropriate treatment, dogs can recover from heatstroke. However, the chances of recovery depend on how quickly the condition is addressed. Seeking immediate veterinary care, providing cooling measures, and administering necessary treatments improve the chances of a successful recovery.

    Early intervention is vital to prevent serious complications and ensure your dog's well-being. 

    How Long Does It Take A Dog To Recover From Heat Exhaustion?

    The recovery time for a dog with heat exhaustion can vary depending on the severity of the condition and how quickly treatment is administered.

    In mild cases, with prompt care, dogs may recover within a few hours to a day. However, more severe cases may require several days of treatment and monitoring for full recovery. 

    What Dog Breeds Are More Susceptible To Heat Stroke?

    Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke due to their physical characteristics and genetic predispositions. Some of the breeds that may be more prone to heatstroke include:

    • Brachycephalic breeds (e.g., Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers) with flat faces and narrowed airways.
    • Thick-coated breeds (e.g., Huskies, Saint Bernards, Collies) designed for colder climates.
    • Overweight or obese dogs, as they have a harder time regulating body temperature.
    • Older dogs and puppies, whose heat-regulating mechanisms are not fully developed.
    • Dogs with underlying health conditions affecting their respiratory or cardiovascular systems.

    It's important to take extra precautions and closely monitor these breeds during hot weather to prevent heat-related issues. Always provide plenty of water, shade, and avoid excessive exercise in high temperatures.



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