How to Protect Your Dog from Heatstroke This Summer

Did you know that heat stroke can happen in as little as 10 minutes? It can be deadly, and is unfortunately on the rise.

The big point here is prevention: knowing that it can happen fast, being aware of the signs/symptoms of Heat Stroke, and recognizing when your dog is in distress and reacting appropriately.

There are some supplements which may help your pets better cope with heat, and one study in particular showed that the EPA/DHA Omega-3s with their anti-inflammatory effects, partially alleviated the effects of heat stress.

We have a wonderful Omega 3 supplement in the form of Krill Oil here:

Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Heat

As a practicing veterinarian, I’ve observed the serious risks that hot weather can pose to pets. Here are some essential tips to ensure your furry friends stay safe during these scorching times, especially as most of North America and Europe experience extreme heat.

1. Never Leave Your Pet in the Car

The car can quickly become a death trap for pets. Even with windows open, temperatures can skyrocket to dangerous levels within just 10 minutes. From my own practice experience, I’ve seen pets, particularly brachycephalic breeds with pushed-in faces, suffer from heatstroke in as little as 15 minutes.

2. Hydration and Cooling

Ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, cool water and stays in the shade or air-conditioned environments during peak sun hours. Hydration is as crucial for them as it is for us.

3. Avoid Midday Exercise

Strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day can be harmful. Opt for walks in the early morning or late evening. I remember my old dog Lewis would simply stop moving when it got too hot.

4. Protect Their Paws

Be mindful of hot surfaces like asphalt. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws. I’ve treated dogs with serious paw burns from sun-heated roads.

5. Frozen Treats

To keep them cool, offer frozen treats. I often freeze a Kong filled with peanut butter. My homemade ‘dogsicles’ are a huge hit with my dogs!

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6. Cooling Products

While there are products like KOOL vests, sometimes simple measures like providing cold water, shade, and air conditioning are more effective.

7. Recognizing Heat Stroke

Watch for early signs of heat stroke such as rapid panting, thick saliva, and bright red gums. As the situation worsens, your pet might experience shock and organ shutdown, indicated by pale gums, weakness, and potentially severe outcomes like seizures or coma.

8. Emergency Response

If you suspect severe heatstroke and your pet collapses, immediate veterinary attention is crucial. Apply cool, wet towels to their neck and groin areas while en route to the vet.

9. Monitor Their Temperature

Check your pet’s temperature using a rectal thermometer. A reading of 104°F or higher indicates heatstroke, necessitating immediate action.

10. Effective Cooling Techniques

Run cold water over your pet’s head and apply cold packs or wet towels to their back legs, belly, and armpits to reduce their temperature.


Always be vigilant and proactive in protecting your pets from heat-related dangers. These simple yet effective strategies can make a significant difference in their well-being during hot weather.

Get Dr. Jones’ Ultimate Omega 3 Supplement to potentially enhance your pet’s ability to handle heat, improve skin conditions, support brain, heart, and immune system health, and more. Find it here.

Dr Andrew Jones’ ‘Veterinary Secrets’ Will Help Keep Your Pet Healthy, and Extend Your Pet’s Life

2 thoughts on “How to Protect Your Dog from Heatstroke This Summer”

    1. Peanut butter is safe to give your dog as a treat. Just make sure to avoid peanut butter with Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in lower or sugar-free products

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