Heatstroke In Dogs: Signs, What To Watch For & What To Do

Summer is here, and winter is long gone. It’s finally time to go on vacation with family. But before you get so distracted, do you have a dog? Well, if you do, then it’s time to observe your dog carefully. This means no summer vacation without your dog. 

But why is that? Well, it’s summer, and you how the summer heat can be for us humans, let alone our dogs. Well, if you have a dog, most especially large dog breeds, like mastiffs and some shepherd dogs, are very prone to overheating. 

This could be highly dangerous, most especially in harsh heat conditions, and could even lead to heatstroke. This could be very a very serious situation, even life-threatening in dogs. Thankfully not all dogs are at high risk of heatstroke this summer. So what types of dogs are most likely to suffer from this condition? What are the signs? How can you control it? This article will provide answers to these questions.

So, before you set out to enjoy your summer vacation, I think it’s time to find out first if your dog is in the red zone of this problem and how you can control it, to ensure that this summer is not your dog’s last. Well, let’s get right to it, shall we?

heatstroke in dogs


As a dog owner, it’s ok to worry about just how safe your dog is and its overall welfare. And although your dog may not be in the danger zone, you should still worry and try to stay safe and follow all the safety measures listed in this article to ensure that your dog never becomes a victim of heatstroke. 

Now let’s look at these dog breeds one at a time.

  • Chow Chow

Do you own a chow Chow? Then be sure to take extra care this summer. This is because the Chow Chow is prone to heatstroke in dogs. This is because the Chow Chow has a thick double coat, with the outer coat quite long. 

The coat was designed that way to keep the dog warm by trapping the heat in and limiting it from escaping. Though this is good during the winter and even extreme weather conditions, it could be detrimental to the dog during extreme heat. 

  • Bulldog

Heatstroke in dogs could be caused by a lot of reasons aside from hair coats. In the case of the Bulldog, it is their very breeding style that affects them. 

The Bulldog is bred to have a flat face. This prevents them from panting as much as regular dogs do. As a result of this disadvantage, they are unable to regulate their body temperature. So, if you see your Bulldog shivering and having difficulty breathing, then you better get it somewhere cool.

  • French Bulldog

Like its relative, the French Bulldog has a short snout and flat face. This makes it also very difficult for the dog to maintain its body temperature. 

The only thing different is the fact that this dog can pant more than its relative. So if you own this breed, watch it carefully this summer.

  • French Mastiff

Heatstroke in dogs, like other dogs listed above, could be very deadly, and the French Mastiff is no exception. 

This is because of the dog’s bulky build and meaty stature. This compacts the flow of air that passes through its airway. This could lead to difficulty in breathing, and even if the dog pants hard enough, it could still suffer from heatstroke. 

  • The Grayhound

This dog proves that heatstroke in dogs does not necessarily have to do with size or breeding but could be a result of nature itself. 

This dog is actually four times more likely to suffer from heatstroke. Though the dog has little body fat, it is active. That actively, when carried out during extreme heat conditions, could lead to overheating. 

  • NOTE: Overheating in dogs could lead to serious health issues if not treated and could even kill the dog. And also, all dogs are prone to overheating, no matter the breed. The dogs listed above are dogs that are most likely to suffer severe consequences if not controlled. 


Heatstroke in dogs would only take place after a few signs that are impossible to miss. Some of these signs include:


Does your dog pant a lot or less? Well, the truth is whether it often pants or not, this sign is impossible to miss. When your dog starts to pant excessively and relentlessly while consuming a lot of water, that’s a sign that it is already overheating.


This is the next stage after panting. Once your dog is now panting while consuming a lot of water and yet does not get better, instead the dog starts to drool excessively, then you must notice that something is wrong.


Now the situation is already getting serious, and your dog will try to alert you of its discomfort. It will do this by distress signals like whining and crying. And if the dog is tied down, then it will become restless and start pulling at the leash.


If all these signs do not still seem care to you, then this sign should convince you. The dog’s tongue will start to change from its pink color to bright red.


Your dog, by now, will have seen its heart beat faster. Their heart will be beating so fast that the entire body of the dog will be shaken by the motion of the heartbeat. At this stage, the dog is getting close to a heat stroke if not controlled.


At this stage, your dog is in the red zone and is most likely to pass out during this ordeal. You would see your dog experience shortness of breath, which in turn, is what triggers the heatstroke.



This can only work in not-so-serious situations. In not-so-extreme cases, simply just taking the dog somewhere cool while giving it water with Ice cubes would work wonders in cooling your dog’s temperature. 


This solution is for more serious cases. If the shade and the cool water do not seem to be working, then why not try dipping your dog in the pool or a bathtub. Then after you must have let it there for about five minutes, try using a wet rag placed on its chest to could the heartburn. 


Once you have been successful with cooling your dog’s temperature, you may not need to visit the vet. But if you were unsuccessful and your dog is about to or suffer a heatstroke, then I think it’s time to visit the vet. 


Though overheating in dogs can be serious, it can also be managed and should not be a reason not to take your dog on vacation with you. All that is required to save your dog’s life is observance. 

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