Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

10th May 2021

The weather is becoming more beautiful outside everyday. But as we transition from spring to summer, the heat is no joke.

When the temperatures start to increase, it’s important to know when your pet is getting too hot. We’ve discussed that roughly 90°F is too hot for your pet, but what if you don’t recognize this?

What happens then?

That’s why we’re here to discuss heat stroke. Yes. Your pets can have a heat stroke.

What is a Heat Stroke?

A heat stroke occurs when your pet’s body temperature rises above the normal temperature range (100°F to 102°F).

Are Certain Breeds More Susceptible?

Although any pet can have a heat stroke, long-haired breeds and short-snout breeds are more susceptible.

How Does Heat Stroke Happen?

A heat stroke can come about if it’s too hot outside and your pet doesn’t get enough water. This can also easily happen if your pet is left inside of a car. More commonly though, heat stroke can occur because of the hot temperatures combined with a lack of shade.


Symptoms that can be a tell-tale sign of heat stroke include:

  • Excessive Panting
    • This would be panting more than normal. Be sure to look out for pets with short snouts (Bulldogs, Pugs, etc) as they aren’t able to pant as efficiently.
  • Drooling
    • This includes drool more than normal, or even drool that looks different (thicker) than usual.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Reddened Gums
  • Weakness
    • Is your pet napping or laying down more than usual?
  • Fever
    • A body temperature above 103*F is not normal.

My Dog is Showing Signs. What Now?

If your pet is unconscious you need to take them to a veterinary hospital immediately. The faster you act in this scenario, the better!

If your pet is conscious and showing signs of heat exhaustion you need to call the vet as soon as possible!

You also need to make sure that you take your pet indoors or somewhere cool immediately. This can help to bring their body temperature down.

You can also try using cool (not cold) water to bring down their body temperature.

If your pet is conscious, try getting them to drink cool water. Remember not cold water! This is important because cold water or water with ice can send your pet into shock.

The best way to avoid this situation is prevention. If you want to read about how to prevent a heat stroke, click here.

Hopefully you don’t have to encounter a heat stroke with your pet, but it’s better to be prepared! What do you do to prevent this in the hotter temperatures? Let us know in the comments!