Heatstroke in Dogs 3 ways to Prevent, Treat and Survive

Billy and Jack onboard Angelsea our Sailboat as we sail the Caribbean
Waiting for the awning to go up after a sail. Billy and Jack

Heatstroke in Dogs

How to Prevent and Treat

We will cover the following issues with Heatstroke in dogs

1: How to Prevent and Treat Heatstroke in Dogs

 2: Recognizing the Signs of Overheating in Dogs
 3: Safely Cooling Down Your Dog to Prevent Heatstroke

Before I forget: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites for sales of products at no extra cost to you.

We at Livinwithdog.com are very selective and will only link to products we have used ourselves or feel will benefit dog owners. 

Treat Heatstroke in dogs because so far this has been the hottest summer on record. Its only going to get hotter so as the summer heat intensifies, it’s crucial to ensure the well-being of our furry friends. Dogs are particularly susceptible to overheating, which can lead to heatstroke—a potentially life-threatening condition. In this blog post, we will discuss how to recognize the signs of overheating in dogs and provide safe methods to cool them down effectively. Also what we do to keep our two cool and happy!
Jack and Billy under our awning on the boat one way we prevent Heat stroke in dogs
We keep Jack and Billy by swimming and having an awning on our sailboat

 1: Recognizing the Signs of Overheating in Dogs

1. Heavy Panting and Excessive Drooling:
When dogs are overheated, they often pant heavily and drool excessively. Keep an eye out for these signs, especially during hot weather or vigorous exercise.
2. Increased Body Temperature:
A dog’s normal body temperature ranges between 101°F and 102.5°F. If you suspect your dog is overheating, use a rectal thermometer to check their temperature. Anything above 103°F is a cause for concern.
3. Lethargy and Weakness:
Overheated dogs may exhibit signs of lethargy, weakness, or even collapse. If your dog seems unusually tired or struggles to stand, it’s crucial to take immediate action.

2: Safely Cooling Down Your Dog to Prevent Heatstroke

1. Move to a Shaded Area:
If your dog shows signs of overheating, quickly move them to a shaded or air-conditioned area. Avoid direct sunlight and hot surfaces like asphalt, as they can further increase body temperature.
2. Offer Fresh Water:
Provide your dog with cool, fresh water to drink. You can also wet their paws.  Avoid using ice-cold water, as it may cause shock.
3. Use Cool, Wet Towels:
Dampen a towel with cool water and gently place it on your dog’s neck, armpits, and groin area. This helps to dissipate heat and lower their body temperature. Replace the towels frequently to maintain their cooling effect.
4. Use a Fan or Air Conditioning:
If available, direct a fan towards your dog or turn on the air conditioning to help cool the surrounding air. Ensure proper ventilation to aid in the cooling process.
5. Avoid Cold Water Immersion:
Contrary to popular belief, immersing an overheated dog in cold water can be dangerous. Instead, opt for cool water or use wet towels to gradually lower their body temperature.
6. Do not leave dogs in cars even with the windows cracked open.  Also when do not entirely rely on WIFI heat sensor for dog in RV or closed in areas.
7. Take several and often breaks while walking, hiking or playing for your dog to cool down.  They cant tell you when they feel over heated.

Preventing heatstroke in dogs is crucial, especially during hot summer months.

Since we have been in the tropics for the past 12 years below are some items we use to help keep our two dogs cool and comfortable.
  • Cooling Mat or a cold, wet towel that you can spread out for your dog to lie on. You can also have them stand on a damp towel to help their paw pads release heat.
prevent heat stroke in dogs
Use a cooling mat to help prevent heat stroke in dogs

Travel, dogs, sailing, food & Fun

  • When we were raising STD Poodles, we  kept a plastic hard wader pool in the yard filled with water.  I would not go to Amazon for this. instead go to  Walmart or a chain store that sells the plastic pools.  The reason is I’ve heard that dogs can poke holes in bottom of inflated pools with their nails.  The round plastic pool is easy to fill, easy for dog to enter and they cannot dump the water out.  Since we cannot have a pool on board our sailboat this is what we do to help keep cool


Jack and Billy Swimming from Sailboat , dingy trying to prevent heatstroke.
Jack and Billy Swimming from Sailboat , dingy trying to prevent heatstroke. Always with one of us they are not allowed in water otherwise.
  • When pool not available or traveling use a Spray bottle filled with cool water a great way to prevent heatstroke in dogs. Spray the underside of their body that’s not exposed to the hot sun (such as the groin area, where the hair is less dense), the bottoms of their feet, and inside their mouth.  We do this quite often while underway and sailing.


  • Cooling Vest which deflects the heat and cools the dog through evaporation.  We like the one listed below in image. Just click image to get information.

Heatstroke in DogsTravel, dogs, sailing, food & Fun


  • Electrolyte Solution for Dogs and Cats – Helps Replace Fluids Lost From Pet Dehydration, Diarrhea, Vomiting – this is essential for several reasons not only to prevent heatstroke  in dogs.
  • Puppies need to have their water intake more closely monitored (especially when potty training), whereas adult dogs mostly self-regulate their water intake.

Travel, dogs, sailing, food & Fun

  • Travel, dogs, sailing, food & FunFrozen Kong filled with treats. We fill ours with :Applesauce (non-sugared versions),Peanut Butter (avoid xylitol!),Pumpkin or Dog Food


Travel, dogs, sailing, food & Fun
Travel, dogs, sailing, food & FunHeatstroke in dogs can cause serious problems like brain and kidney failure, blood problems, and more.
So, please take every precaution to help your dog avoid heatstroke.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  This is the time and place to let us know. Just leave a comment below.  Also if you would like to see a topic discussed we have not covered. Drop your suggestion in the comments below.

If you are interested in our lifestyle and have questions here is a blog about it but feel free to contact us at any time. Unless were sailing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *