Warning Signs That Your Dog Could Have Heatstroke

Pets & Animals Blog

Heatstroke is a serious summer issue that affects many people, but you might not be aware that your family dog is also at risk of this condition. Heat stroke can occur for a number of reasons, but a high amount of physical exertion — for example repeatedly playing fetch — on a hot and sunny day can increase your dog's risk of heat stroke. If you believe that your dog has heat stroke, you should call your local veterinary clinic or visit an animal hospital that accepts drop-in visits to ensure that your pet gets the care it needs. Here are some warning signs that your dog could have heatstroke.

Excessive Panting

It's common for a dog to pant heavily after a period of exertion. For example, if you go for a run with the animal, you can expect that it will pant for several minutes after you get back home. It should alert you, however, if you notice that the panting seems to be going on way too long. Once the animal is back in an air-conditioned home, its panting should end fairly quickly instead of continuing. Excessive panting can often be an indicator that your dog has suffered heatstroke.

Rapid Heart Rate

An accelerated heart rate is another potential warning sign that your dog could be dealing with heatstroke. While the dog's heart rate will be high if it's exercising in a hot environment, the rate should decrease after the dog stops running. It's easy to check your dog's heart rate by placing your hands on its chest. If you feel the heart thumping at what seems way faster than usual, this is a concern. One option is to count the beats for 60 seconds so that when you call the veterinary clinic, you can provide the dog's heart rate for reference.


A serious warning sign of heatstroke is noticing weakness and fatigue. Your dog might be on the floor and struggling to get up, or it may look as though it's laboring just to walk from one room of your home to another. In some instances, the animal may collapse onto the floor and stay there for a short period before getting up and attempting to walk again. You should not ignore these signs that heat stroke may be present. Receiving the proper veterinary care will be critical to helping your dog recover from this serious condition. 

For more information, contact a local vet hospital


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