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How to Treat Heatstroke in Dogs

Like humans, man's best friend is susceptible to heatstroke. Learn when to treat and care for dogs suffering at home and when to consult a veterinarian.


  • : If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, consult a veterinarian.
  • Step 1: Suspect heatstroke Look for symptoms of heatstroke. These include rapid panting, increased heart rate, weakness, dry mucous membranes, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and coma.
  • Step 2: Move the dog Immediately move the dog to a cooler location, like a shady spot or air-conditioned building.
  • TIP: Organ damage and death may occur when a dog's temperature rises to 109 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Step 3: Check temperature Check the dog's temperature using a rectal thermometer, and call a veterinarian if the temperature is above 105 degrees.
  • TIP: Normal temperature for dogs ranges between 100 and 102.5 degrees.
  • Step 4: Cool the dog If the dog is overheated, but their temperature is not 105 or higher, cool the dog by saturating its fur with cool water or immersing the animal in cool water to gradually lower their body temperature.
  • TIP: Avoid cold water baths, which may shock a dog's system.
  • Step 5: Recheck temperature Recheck the dog's temperature every few minutes until it reaches 103 degrees, and then halt cool water treatments.
  • Step 6: Provide fluids Provide the dog access to water if it is able to drink on its own. Following recovery, have a vet examine the dog to be sure there are no complications. With proper treatment, your faithful canine should make a full recovery.
  • FACT: Bulldogs are especially prone to heatstroke because of breathing difficulties due to their facial structure.

You Will Need

  • Cool location
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Cool water

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