Proudly partnering with:

Keeping Your Furry Mates Safe: Understanding and Preventing Heat Stroke in Dogs

heat stroke in dogs

At Jordan Dog Training, we’re passionate about the welfare of our four-legged friends. With Australia’s warm climate, it’s vital for pet owners to understand the risks of heat stroke in dogs. This guide will help you recognise, prevent, and respond to heat stroke, emphasising the importance of professional veterinary advice.

What is Heat Stroke in Dogs?

Heat stroke, or hyperthermia, happens when a dog’s body temperature rises dangerously, typically above 39.4°C. Dogs regulate their body temperature mainly through panting and sweating through their paw pads. In Australia’s hot and humid weather, these methods might be insufficient, leading to heat stroke.

The Significance of Veterinary Advice

Regular vet check-ups are essential for maintaining your dog’s health. These visits are an opportunity for your vet to assess your dog’s capacity to handle heat, offering:

  • Personalised Advice: Recommendations based on your dog’s breed, age, and health.
  • Preventative Measures: Strategies to prevent heat stroke and other heat-related conditions.
  • Emergency Instructions: Guidance on what to do if you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke.

Understanding Individual Heat Tolerance

Each dog’s ability to cope with heat varies, influenced by breed, age, coat type, fitness level, and overall health. Special caution is advised for brachycephalic breeds, older dogs, and those with health issues. Adapt outdoor activities to suit your dog’s specific needs.

Download the Factsheet

Preventing Heat Stroke

  1. Continuous Water Supply: Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.
  2. Shaded Rest Spots: Provide cool, shaded areas for your dog to rest outdoors.
  3. Timing Outdoor Activities: Avoid the hottest parts of the day for walks and playtime.
  4. Never Leave Dogs in Cars: The temperature inside a car can soar rapidly, even on mild days.
  5. Use Cooling Products: Consider cooling vests or mats during extreme heat.
  6. Know Your Dog’s Needs: Pay attention to your dog’s specific requirements regarding heat exposure.

Identifying Heat Stroke

  • Excessive Panting: The first sign of overheating.
  • Heavy Drooling: An increase in saliva production.
  • Agitated Behaviour: Signs of discomfort or unease.
  • Red Gums: May indicate a rise in body temperature.
  • Vomiting or Diarrhoea: Sometimes with blood.
  • Lethargy or Confusion: Uncharacteristic drowsiness or disorientation.
  • Collapse: A severe emergency requiring immediate veterinary intervention.

Immediate Response to Suspected Heat Stroke

  1. Find a Cooler Environment: Move your dog to a shaded or air-conditioned space.
  2. Offer Water Slowly: Let your dog sip small amounts of cool water.
  3. Start Cooling Down: Apply cool water to your dog’s body, particularly around the neck and underarms.
  4. Use a Fan: Aid cooling with air movement.
  5. Seek Veterinary Attention Immediately: Prompt veterinary care is crucial.

Regular Vet Visits: Essential for Heat Safety

Frequent veterinary consultations are key to your dog’s health, especially for discussing heat safety. Your vet can offer:

  • Health Checks: Regular assessments to ensure your dog is prepared for high temperatures.
  • Customised Care Plans: Advice tailored to your dog’s unique needs.
  • Heat Stroke Protocols: Clear instructions for managing heat stroke scenarios.

Local Climate Considerations and Resources

In Australia, our climate can vary significantly from region to region. Understanding local weather patterns and recognising the signs of heat stress relevant to your area is crucial. It’s also beneficial to familiarise yourself with local veterinary services and emergency animal hospitals, especially those offering after-hours care.


At Jordan Dog Training, we’re committed to helping you and your furry mate enjoy Australia’s beautiful weather safely. By staying informed about heat stroke prevention and maintaining regular vet visits, you’re ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for your dog.

Stay cool, stay informed, and always put safety first!

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional veterinary advice.

Blog Categories

Product Categories

Justin Jordan Trainer

Justin Jordan

Master Trainer

  • In-home behaviour modification consultations
  • Puppy schools
  • Obedience classes
  • Specialist training
  • Media enquiries
  • Trainer opportunities
  • Supplier enquiries
  • Guest appearances
Phone (07) 3264 8180      Mobile: 0422 600 774       Email: