Heat stroke: what to do?

Heat stroke.

It can happen anywhere –the city or the countryside. And your ability to approach the situation correctly will not only help your pet feel better, but also can save their life.

Normal body temperature varies slightly for different breeds, but anything over 39.5 °C (103.1 °F) is already too much.

Reasons for fever:
▫️hot weather and high humidity (it can be a hot day, or when a dog is sitting in a hot room or car without AC or drafts)

▫️upper respiratory tract infections, chronic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, nervous system disorders

▫️extreme physical exercise.

Indicators of a heat stroke:

✔️shortness of breath

✔️ redness of mucosal surfaces


✔️saliva thickening

✔️acute renal failure

✔️arrythmia (heart irregularity)

✔️ tachycardia (increased heart rate)



✔️changes of mental state

✔️impaired motor coordination


✔️muscle tremors

✔️vomiting, sometimes with blood




What to do?

While you are on the way to the vet, make sure to lower your pet’s body temperature by putting them in cold water (for very small dogs – warm) and then increase the air flow around your pet by putting a fan next to them.

NOTE: using very cold water may lead to more harm.

Quick drop of body temperature to very low indicators can result in life-threatening conditions.

Check your dog’s temperature every 5 minutes. As soon as the temperature decreases to 39.4 °C (102.9 °F), stop the cooling procedures, dry your pet well and cover them with a blanket, so that they don’t continue losing their body temperature.

Even when you see that your dog is feeling better, still make sure to visit a vet as soon as possible, because there might be other invisible problems at play, like dehydration.

It’s very important to remember to never use ice-cold water.

Chills and shivering are not desirable, because they create warmth inside.

Rapid temperature drop might lead to many problems, it’s better to observe a gradual temperature decrease.

Let your dog drink lukewarm, cold-ish water, but not ice cold, as much as he wants. Don’t make him drink by force.

Scroll to Top