Dog First Aid: Heatstroke Dog First Aid: Heatstroke

Posted by Emma Oldroyd, on

Dog First Aid: Heatstroke

As summer comes around, we all want to make the most of the sun & heat whilst we have it here in the UK! Whilst we can bask in the rays, it’s important to remember how the summer weather affects our dogs.

dog in sunshine

If a dog gets too hot and is unable to regulate their temperature, they will develop heatstroke. Heatstroke can be fatal to dogs if not treated straight away, so our first aid team have put together some advice which could help you save your dog’s life when needed.

You can help keep your dog cool with special cooling toys, cooling mats and making sure they have quick access to fresh drinking water during the hotter days. 

Look for the signs.

The signs of heatstroke are:

  • Heavy panting.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • Drowsiness, or your dog seems uncoordinated/lethargic.
  • Your dog could collapse or even sometimes fit.
Always call the vet to either attend or take your dog to with any case of heatstroke. Secondary complications of even mild heatstroke can be kidney failure, abnormal blood clotting, changes in blood pressure and electrolyte depletion.

How to treat heatstroke.

Until you can get veterinary treatment, if your dog is showing any of these signs, quick reactions following these steps will help reduce their temperature:

  • Move your dog to a cool/shaded area.
  • Cover your dog with cool (but not cold) water by either washing them or covering them with wet towels.
  • If you have access to a fan, set it up in front of your dog.
  • Let your dog drink small sips of cool water.

It’s important to keep an eye on your dog as they cool down, if they begin to shiver, stop immediately.

dog drinking water

Once your dog’s breathing and temperature has returned to normal, we recommend visiting your vet for a check up to ensure there are no side effects of the heat stroke.

If you see a dog suffering from heatstroke inside a car, please call 999 immediately.