If dogs are too hot and are unable to reduce their body temperature by panting, they will develop heatstroke - which can kill.
Some types of dogs are more prone to heatstroke, like very old or young dogs, dogs with thick, heavy coats or dogs with very short flat faces like pugs and bulldog types. Dogs with certain diseases or on some types of medication are also more at risk.
See a dog in a hot car displaying any signs of heatstroke? Dial 999 immediately.
Warning signs of heatstroke
- Heavy panting
- Excessively drooling
- The dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
- Collapsed or vomiting
Emergency First Aid for dogs
For the best chance of survival, dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature lowered gradually.
- Move the dog to a shaded and cool area
- Immediately pour cool (not cold to avoid shock) water over the dog. If possible, you can also use wet towels or place them in the breeze of a fan
- Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water
- Continue to pour cool water over the dog until their breathing starts to settle, but not too much that they start shivering
Once the dog is cool, take them to the nearest vet as a matter of urgency.