Symptoms of Hyperthermia/ Heat Stroke in Dogs

If your dog shows any of the following symptoms, it may be a sign of heat stroke:


  1. Excessive Panting: Dogs naturally pant to cool down, but if it becomes rapid and excessive, it’s a sign of distress and heat exhaustion.
  2. Restlessness: An agitated dog that can’t seem to settle down may be overheating.
  3. Drooling: Unusually heavy drooling is a sign that your dog is struggling to regulate their body temperature.
  4. Bright Red Gums and Tongue: Normal healthy gums are pink, but if they become bright red, it’s a sign of hyperthermia .
  5. Vomiting or Diarrhea: These can be symptoms of heat stroke and are often accompanied by other signs.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Heat Stroke

Treating a dog with heat stroke requires quick action:

  1. Contact Your Vet!! – Even if your dog seems to be okay, it’s essential to seek veterinary care. Heat stroke can have lasting effects, and a vet can assess your dog’s condition thoroughly. 
  2. Get to the VET – You would have already contacted your vet and been told to come straight down.  Do not delay doing this for the sake of trying to cool them at home. The vet team will be able to closely monitor body temperature and many other aspects needed to help a hyperthermic patient for them to have the best possible outcome.   If this is not possible straight away follow the below steps. 
  3. DO NOT ACTIVELY COOL THEM DOWN TOO FAST –  It is very important that while we want to help reduce their body temperature this is not done too fast, and not over cooled.  Once a dog with hyperthermia has low body temperature it can lead to further health risks
  4. Move them to a Cooler Place – Get your dog out of the heat immediately. An air-conditioned room is ideal, but a shaded area with a fan can help too. Some cool tiles in a bathroom may also help.
  5. SLOWLY and GENTLY Cool Your Dog Down: Use cool (not cold) water to wet your dog’s feet, armpits, and groin. You can use a spray bottle or a damp cloth to avoid over soaking the areas.  DO NOT USE ICE COLD WATER as it can constrict blood vessels and cause other issues.
  6. Offer Oral Water: Make sure your dog has access to fresh cool water. Encourage them to drink, but don’t force it.  Ice can be added to the water for them to electively drink.

Preventing Heat Stroke in Dogs:

  • Avoid exercise during hot weather, ESPECIALLY if your pet has other health considerations including – brachycephalic breeds, dogs with heart disease or other cardio – respiratory disease.
  • Provide plenty of cool fresh water.
  • Provide plenty of shade and shelter from the heat. This may need to be indoors.
  • Never leave your dog in a hot car. Even with the windows opened, the temperature can rise rapidly and the hyperthermia that can occur can be fatal.
  • If your pet has a thick coat, make sure to take extra caution with exercise and exposure to heat.
  • If you cannot rest the back of your bare hand on the pavement for longer than 30 to 60 seconds, your dog should not be walking on this surface.

We have seen how devastating heat stroke can be for pets. Prevention and quick action are the keys to keeping your furry friends safe during hot weather. Stay informed and be proactive in protecting your dog from the dangers of overheating.

If you would like any further advice, please feel free to talk to one of our friendly team members at Pet Society Vet, who would be  happy to clarify any questions you may have.

E – reception@petsocietyvet.com.au
P – 08 7095 3377