Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat Stroke in Dogs


While most dogs have a lot of fun outside during the hot summer months, they are even more sensitive to extremely hot temperatures than people.  People can sweat out of pores all of our body to quickly cool ourselves down, but dogs cannot.  They only sweat out of the pads on their feet, which is not very effective.  A dog’s normal body temperature is around 100° – 101° F.  Heat stroke occurs when their temperature gets up to 105° F.  If a dog’s body temperature gets that high, they are at risk of brain or other organ damage.


When the weather is hot and humid, make sure your dog has plenty of access to cool shaded areas and fresh water.  Never never leave your dog in the car during warm weather because outdoor temperatures that do not seem hot to us can be enough to raise the temperature inside the car to dangerous levels very quickly.  If you notice that your dog is restless, panting or looking for a cool place to lay down, make sure you get them inside or to a cooler area and offer them some water.  More serious signs of heat exhaustion are an increased heart rate, vomiting, lethargy and staggering.  Once your dog’s heat stress gets to that point they are at risk of passing out.  The first thing you should do is cool your dog by putting them in cool water.  Do not use ice cold water because that could be too much of a shock to the dog’s system.  Slowly bring their temperature down until they start to perk up then bring them to the vet immediately so the vet can provide fluids and help stabilize their temperature.  Your dog should be feeling normal again in a couple of days.






Heat stroke in a Great Pyrenees dog.


Exercises in hot and humid environment caused liver injury in a rat model.


Dexamethasone improves heat stroke-induced multiorgan dysfunction and damage in rats.


Heat stress illness hospitalizations – environmental public health tracking program, 20 states, 2001-2010.


Effects of heat stress on ocular blood flow during exhaustive exercise.


Heat-induced illness.