top of page
Pet Dehydration and Heatstroke

Your pet will need immediate treatment to control heatstroke. Call Village Veterinary Clinic ASAP and let us know you are on your way. We will advise you what to do based on your dog’s symptoms and how far away you are from our clinic. In the meantime, it is important to begin cooling your pet down as quickly as possible. Drape your pet in cool, NOT COLD towels. If outdoors, find a hose and make sure to let any hot water out of the house first before hosing down your dog. Keep your pet’s head elevated to avoid aspiration pneumonia. If conscious, let your dog drink as much cool water as he or she wants without forcing your pet to drink.

Black and white cat

Dehydration Symptoms May Include:

  • Excessive panting, rapid breathing

  • Dry nose, mouth and gums

  • Sticky mucous membranes

  • Reduced activity level, slow responses

  • Dull mental activity/awareness

  • Loose skin that does not spring back into place when pinched

  • Staggered gait, weakness in the limbs

  • Weak pulse, increased heart rate

  • Dark-colored urine that smells stronger than usual


In any case, your pet should still be seen by a veterinarian because heatstroke and dehydration can lead to organ failure and, in worst-case scenarios, death.

How to Prevent Pet Heatstroke
and Dehydration

Avoid taking your pet outside for long periods of time in hot temperatures. If you do need to spend time outdoors, make sure your pet has access to shade and shelter away from direct sunlight. Make sure you have plenty of water available.

Place extra bowls of cool water around the house. Use air conditioning and fans to cool the interior of your house.

Do not leave pets unattended in automobiles! Even with open car windows, a pet can succumb to heatstroke in a very short period of time. Exercise your pet in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler.

How Our Burke Veterinarians

Can Help Your Pet

If you think your dog or cat is suffering from dehydration or heatstroke, it is best to bring them to our animal hospital for an evaluation and treatment. Our veterinarians will monitor your pet for signs of complications. Your pet may require intravenous therapy and/or medication to help with his or her condition.

Contact Village Veterinary Clinic in Burke, VA if your pet is showing signs of a heat stroke or dehydration. Call us at 703-978-8655 to schedule an assessment for your pet.

bottom of page