Karingal Vet Hospital

328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

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Heat Stroke in Dogs: Your Dog’s Summer Health

Posted on: Dec 12 2018
Dalmatian at risk of heat stroke on a beach


There’s nothing better than taking your dog for a run (or walk) in summer. The reward of your improved fitness and your dog’s adoration definitely lifts the spirits. Unfortunately, heat stroke or heat stress is one of the problems vets have to deal with throughout summer. Dogs, especially on hot summer days, can really struggle to keep their body temperature regulated. Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula have already seen some excessively hot days so it is important to keep an eye on your dog’s well-being.


Signs of Heat Stroke in your Dog

  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Unsteady on feet
  • Drooling or excessive saliva
  • Dark red or pale gums
  • Diarrhoea
  • Little urination
  • Vomiting
  • Fast panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Confused


What you can do if you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke.

  • Take your dog out of the heat
  • Apply tepid water to the fur and skin and fan to maximise heat loss
  • Wet down the area around your dog, if possible
  • Take your dog to the nearest vet


Do I have to take my dog to see the vet?

Depending on the severity of the heat stroke, emergency medical treatment – such as drips, blood tests and extra oxygen – may be required. A vet will be able to determine the severity of heat stress and take action to prevent any further complications


Risk factors

  • Over-exercise – rather exercise your dog when it’s cooler (early morning or late evening)
  • Weight – overweight or obese dogs struggle to lose excessive heat
  • Medical conditions – such as heart or breathing problems – may predispose your dog to heat stress
  • Thick fur
  • Flat-faced dogs
  • Age – old or young dogs are more susceptible to heat stress on hot days



Tips to Prevent Heat Stress

  • Have a well-ventilated and shady place for your dog to rest
  • Plenty of fresh drinking water
  • If your dog is outdoors, grassy and shady areas are better than concrete or asphalt


Karingal Veterinary Hospital

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the well-being of your dog during summer – please don’t hesitate to contact us.



**Remember that even on mild days the inside car temperature can rise to dangerous levels.

Please don’t leave your dog in the car during summer – even if you think it’s a cooler than usual day.

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328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 7 days a week.

Our hours are

- 8am-8pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- Temporarily closed on Sundays Due To Covid,

- We will remain closed from the 25th Dec 2020 - 28th Dec 2020 & on 1st Jan 2021

* We are closed on public holidays.