These Are the Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

With the impending arrival of summer, it’s common to come across news articles and various sources discussing incidents of “Heat Stroke.”

Heat stroke

If you happen to be a proud owner of a canine companion, concerns about the possibility of your cherished pet experiencing heat stroke might cross your mind. You could find yourself pondering whether specific indications point towards the onset of heat stroke.

In actuality, even during the early hours of morning or the coolness of evening in the summer season, taking your dog out for a walk can expose them to significant heat. Even a brief stroll could result in dogs displaying uneven breathing patterns, and upon returning to your abode, you might observe them promptly seeking out water and then taking a rest, all while panting intensely.

In the following sections, I will acquaint you with the indications that signify heat stroke in dogs and the particular symptoms that warrant your vigilant attention.

What Are the Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Dogs?

heat stroke in canines is a condition triggered by an elevation in body temperature brought about by exposure to high temperatures within confined spaces, such as a warm room or an enclosed car, or by participating in activities like strolls and excursions on scorching days.

Dogs lack the ability to regulate their body temperature by perspiring as they possess a smaller number of sweat glands. Instead, they manage their body heat by means of panting.

Nevertheless, if the escalation in body temperature is swift, panting might not suffice to alleviate the temperature, resulting in indications like rapid and open-mouthed breathing (panting), excessive salivation, and more. In severe instances, this can result in “breathing difficulties,” “loss of consciousness,” “nausea,” “diarrhea,” “vomiting blood,” and in the gravest scenarios, fatality.

Even if a dog pulls through a heat stroke episode, there’s a possibility they might not regain consciousness and could wind up in a vegetative condition. They could also endure enduring consequences like impaired mobility.

Canines are more susceptible to heat because of their proximity to the ground in comparison to humans, and their challenges in managing their body temperature.

While out for walks, it’s imperative to prevent burns on their paw pads by gauging the temperature of the pavement or concrete with a touch, and making certain they remain properly hydrated.

However, vigilance is required not just during walks; leaving a dog unattended indoors also warrants careful consideration. Even if the air conditioning is operational and the indoor ambience is pleasant, there have been incidents where dogs inadvertently exit a room, become locked out, and undergo heat stroke.

Furthermore, excessive wariness regarding heat stroke and overly aggressive cooling measures for the dog can also result in health complications.

When Is the Best Time to Get a Heat Stroke?

Speaking of periods when individuals are susceptible to heat stroke, many individuals associate the timeframe from July to September in the summer. Nevertheless, it’s vital to exercise caution during the months of May and June as well.

Although May doesn’t encompass numerous exceedingly hot days, there are abrupt spikes in temperature, and it constitutes a period when even those who own pets can become neglectful.

The potent sunlight has the potential to swiftly elevate indoor temperatures, contingent on the room’s layout.

June marks the rainy season, characterized by frequent rainfall and humidity.

On days of rain, one might not envision a significant surge in indoor temperatures, yet even in the presence of humidity, heat stroke can manifest even when the thermometer isn’t displaying very high readings.

Particularly during June, as the body isn’t acclimatized to the heat, it represents a phase when one’s well-being can easily deteriorate.

Even ahead of the pinnacle of summer, if you often leave your pets at home, it is crucial to consult the weather forecast and implement precautions against heat stroke.

Be careful in your home!

heat stroke is strongly associated with being outdoors, and some pet owners believe that it’s not a concern for indoor pets like mine. However, even when indoors, heat stroke can occur.

Especially when going out, we make sure to lock up properly before leaving. However, in enclosed spaces, the room temperature can rise easily, leading to heat stroke.

Don’t let your guard down just because you’re inside the house. Make sure to turn on the air conditioning and set the indoor temperature to a comfortable level.

In addition, it’s a good idea to provide plenty of water by adding more water stations and utilizing cool mats designed for dogs.

While it’s true that using air conditioning and cooling down the space is effective, be cautious not to lower the set temperature too much.

Let’s change the set temperature considering factors like the age and physical condition of the dog.

This Kind of Dog Is Prone to Heat Stroke, So Be Careful!

There are dogs among them who are more prone to heat stroke and dogs who are less likely to develop it.

Especially in the case of dogs that are more prone to heat stroke, they can experience heat stroke even if the temperature is not very high, so caution is necessary.

If you are raising a dog that is susceptible to heat stroke, let’s take heat stroke prevention measures as early as possible.

Brachycephalic Breeds

Short-nosed brachycephalic breeds are mentioned as dogs that are more prone to heat stroke.

Brachycephalic breeds include dog breeds such as Shih Tzu, Pekingese, Pug, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, and others.

Because they have short noses, they are not very skilled at breathing, and their body temperature regulation is not very efficient, making them more susceptible to heat stroke.

These dog breeds are not only prone to heat stroke but also to respiratory system diseases.

Even if they are not categorized as brachycephalic breeds, small breeds like Chihuahuas also require caution.

If you feel that your dog, who is not classified as a brachycephalic breed, has a relatively short nose, be vigilant about heat stroke.

Dog of Northern Origin

The dog breeds that originally lived in cold regions are very sensitive to heat.

Breeds such as Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds have fluffy fur.

Due to their fur and body structure adapted for cold weather, they require more attention during hot periods compared to other breeds.

When leaving them indoors, it’s a good idea to always turn on the air conditioning and slightly lower the indoor temperature.

Fat Dog

Dogs that are overweight are more prone to heat stroke.

Because they have more fat than other dogs, their body temperature can be trapped inside their bodies more easily. Additionally, the accumulation of fat around the neck can lead to breathing difficulties and respiratory distress.

Being overweight also makes them more susceptible to other illnesses, and due to the reduced effectiveness of medications like anesthesia, the risks of surgery are higher.

Before the hot season sets in, it’s advisable to put them on a diet to return to a healthy weight.

When touching a dog’s back, a moderate amount of flesh that allows you to feel the ribs is considered just right.

If you can barely touch the ribs or can’t touch them at all, it’s recommended to consult a regular veterinary clinic.

Puppy or Old Dog

Puppies and elderly dogs are also prone to heat stroke.

Puppies have immature body functions, and elderly dogs experience a decline in bodily functions.

As a result, their body temperature regulation is inferior to that of adult dogs, and their immune system is also weaker, making them susceptible to heat stroke and other illnesses.

Speaking of measures against heat stroke, if you lower the indoor temperature too much, it can actually disrupt their health. Therefore, create an environment where they can move between air-conditioned rooms and other rooms on their own.

Dogs with Heart or Respiratory Problems

Dogs with weak hearts or respiratory systems are prone to heat stroke.

The heart and respiratory system are vital organs for temperature regulation.

Therefore, when their function is compromised, they are unable to lower their body temperature, and due to their reduced physical strength, they are susceptible to heat stroke and are more likely to experience severe symptoms.

Does Your Dog Look Like This? Be Careful If You Have Any of These Symptoms!

Please be cautious of heat stroke. However, if you don’t know what symptoms indicate heat stroke, you won’t be able to prevent it.

Furthermore, just like with children, dogs might keep playing until they suddenly collapse if not stopped by you while they’re engrossed in play.

Learn the early symptoms of heat stroke and make sure pet owners take preventive measures.

In the Case of Early Symptoms of heat stroke

The initial symptoms of heat stroke include “panting,” “drooling,” “elevated body temperature,” and “increased heart rate.”

“Panting” and “drooling” can also occur after a little exercise or when in a hot environment, but if panting and drooling do not subside over time, there is a possibility that they could be early symptoms of heat stroke.

In the case of heat stroke, a dog’s body temperature can rise to 40-41 degrees Celsius.

If left untreated, the symptoms of heat stroke can worsen rapidly. If you notice that your dog’s panting doesn’t calm down or if their behavior seems unusual, measure their body temperature right away.

To measure a dog’s body temperature, insert a thermometer into their rectum. If this is difficult to do at home, feel your dog’s body to check if it feels hotter compared to usual.

If you’re unsure, try cooling your dog’s body and contact your regular veterinarian.

To cool your dog’s body, you can use methods like pouring water over them in a bath at home, using a damp towel if outdoors, or placing ice packs wrapped in towels on areas with prominent blood vessels like the neck and inner thighs.

When contacting the animal hospital, it’s best to reach out to your regular veterinarian if possible. However, if you’re far from your regular vet, contact the nearest animal hospital from your current location to arrange a visit.

Early treatment is crucial in cases of heat stroke, so make an appointment at an animal hospital as soon as possible.

If your dog has pre-existing conditions or is undergoing medical treatment, be sure to inform the attending veterinarian about these circumstances.

If needed, you can also provide the name of your regular veterinarian and the name of the treating doctor.

What Happens When Heat Stroke Becomes Severe?

When heat stroke becomes severe, it affects various organs in the body.

If the body temperature remains elevated and does not decrease, it can cause damage to the brain. This can lead to a decrease in the functioning of essential organs such as the respiratory and circulatory systems, and in the worst cases, it can result in death.


When heat stroke becomes severe, it can lead to diarrhea.

heat stroke raises the body’s temperature and damages various organs, not just the brain.

If the digestive organs are affected, symptoms of diarrhea can occur.

Since diarrhea can lead to the loss of fluids taken by heat stroke, even if you try to rehydrate by giving water, it will be expelled as diarrhea. In such cases, fluids are replenished through methods like intravenous drips.

If diarrhea becomes too severe, it can escalate to dehydration from heat stroke, necessitating hospitalization and management at an animal hospital.


When heat stroke becomes severe, it can lead to vomiting.

Similar to diarrhea, heat stroke can cause damage to the digestive system, resulting in vomiting symptoms.

If vomiting occurs, it becomes difficult to lower body temperature and prevent dehydration by drinking water.

Vomiting caused by heat stroke expels the body’s fluids, thereby worsening the severity of heat stroke.

Convulsions, Tremors

When heat stroke becomes severe, symptoms such as convulsions and trembling can also be observed.

If symptoms like convulsions and trembling are present, it is highly likely that heat stroke has progressed significantly, increasing the possibility of a fatal outcome.

Neurological symptoms like convulsions and trembling often indicate potential brain damage. Furthermore, as the condition advances, it could lead to respiratory and circulatory disorders.

In cases where convulsions and trembling are observed, they can also lead to loss of consciousness, resulting in an extremely dangerous situation.

In some cases, loss of consciousness can cause indiscriminate biting towards the owner or people who touch the body.

Hematuria, Hematochezia

When heat stroke becomes severe, symptoms such as hematuria (blood in urine) and bloody stools can also be observed.

In the case of hematuria, there is a possibility of damage to the urinary system, and in the case of bloody stools, damage to the digestive system may have occurred.

It can be considered a more advanced stage of symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. If it continues to progress, it can lead to not only dehydration but also conditions like anemia.

Furthermore, even after recovery, there is a possibility of developing kidney or digestive system diseases, requiring lifelong treatment.

Especially if it leads to kidney impairment, the body may lose its ability to excrete toxins.

There Is a Possibility That After Effects Will Remain!!

As heat stroke progresses and becomes severe, it not only affects various organs but also impacts the nerves.

Even if one manages to survive, they might develop illnesses in organs like the kidneys, urinary tract, and heart, requiring a lifetime of medication and ongoing treatment.

In some cases, individuals might become paralyzed in the lower half of their body and require lifelong care, making heat stroke a frightening illness with symptoms that affect the entire body.

Treatment Method Countermeasures

heat stroke progresses steadily from its initial symptoms and is a frightening illness that can lead to death if not dealt with promptly.

If you suspect it might be heat stroke, take immediate first aid measures as soon as you think so and consider visiting an animal hospital.

If You Think Something Is Wrong, Go to the Hospital Immediately!

heat stroke becomes crucially important to address in its early stages.

If symptoms such as unsubsiding panting, unusual behavior compared to usual, elevated body temperature that doesn’t decrease, and others are observed, promptly visit an animal hospital.

When visiting an animal hospital, search for the nearest one from your current location and when contacting them, inquire about what to do for first aid.

Various medications are used when treating heat stroke. If you’re receiving treatment outside of your regular animal hospital, make sure to inform them if your pet has allergies, underlying conditions, or is taking any medications.

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Introducing First Aid Methods

When there is suspicion of a moderate condition, it is necessary to perform first aid at home when visiting an animal hospital.

As a method of first aid, the first step is to cool down the body.

Dampen a towel with water and place it on the dog’s body, or pour water over it to further reduce the body temperature.

When heading to the animal hospital by car, you can place a towel with ice packs or a wet towel containing ice packs on areas where thick blood vessels pass through, such as the dog’s neck, armpits, and inner thighs.

While this method is limited to dogs without conditions like dermatitis at places like animal hospitals, there is also a method where alcohol spray is applied to the body to forcibly lower the body temperature.

Depending on the dog’s condition, using an alcohol spray as an emergency measure is also an option.

However, be cautious when using it on areas with thin skin like the face and mucous membranes, as it’s not suitable.


I have introduced information about the symptoms of heat stroke in dogs and symptoms you should be attentive to.

It’s important for the owner to notice the early symptoms of heat stroke and take immediate action.

heat stroke is a serious illness that can progress rapidly without a drop in body temperature and can even result in death.

Not only during the summer months, but it’s also crucial to implement heat stroke prevention measures promptly.