Heatstroke in dogs

Instead of sweating, dogs lower their body temperature by panting. When panting isn’t enough, a dog’s temperature rises significantly, causing heatstroke. This condition can be fatal if not corrected immediately.


Older dogs, obese dogs, and dogs with thick fur or short noses (pugs, bulldogs) are predisposed to heatstroke and should be closely monitored for symptoms on hot, humid days.


Excessive panting
Reddened gums
Diarrhea and vomiting


Prevention :
Avoid hot hours of the day to take your dog out for walks (choose relatively cool hours of the day, either early before the sun is out, or late at night)
Avoid concrete surfaces when walking your dog in the sun. Grassy areas with shade are best.
Give your dog lots of water. Pouring water on your dog’s body can also help. Temperature control – when leaving your dog at home, leave the air conditioning on or leave the windows open.
Never leave your dog in a car unattended, even if it is parked in the shade.


Immediate care:
Move your dog out of the heat/sun immediately. Heatstroke will cause a dog’s body temperature to rise above 40℃, so steps must be taken to lower it as soon as possible (below 39.4℃ at least).
1. Run cool water over your dog’s body.
2. Put a cold water bottle around the neck area, under the forelimbs (underarms), and inside of the thigh.
3. Call your local vet to let them know you are on your way


Prevention is key, but also knowing the signs and what to do in case of an emergency is important. Summer in Tokyo can be incredibly hot and humid, so let’s make sure the necessary steps are taken to protect our dogs from heatstroke.