How to Give First Aid to Your Dog

How to Treat a Dog That Has Heatstroke

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 2

Heatstroke is caused by the inability of the body to maintain its normal temperature because of the environmental heat. It is often caused by keeping a dog in a locked car parked in the sun or by keeping it in any hot area without adequate ventilation.

The signs of heatstroke are excessive drooling, lack of coordination, rapid breathing, and a top of the head that is hot to the touch. Prompt treatment is urgent. Body temperatures often get as high as 107 degrees Fahrenheit/41.5 degrees Celsius, and without quick cooling, severe brain damage and death will occur.


Heatstroke can be prevented by making sure your dog has plenty of shade and ventilation. If you must take your dog driving with you, park in the shade and leave all the windows partially open.

Should heatstroke occur, use the following suggestions to help you provide your dog with the utmost care.

Step 1: Remove the dog from the hot environment.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 3

Step 2: Immerse the dog in a cold water bath or continuously run a garden hose on its body; continue either treatment for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3: Apply ice packs to the top of the head; keep them there while transporting the dog to the veterinarian.

Step 4: Transport the dog to the veterinarian immediately after the above treatment.

Another pet injury that requires immediate professional treatment is hypothermia. Check the next page for tips on what to do if you suspect your pet is suffering from this condition.