Heat Stress in Working Dogs

Working dogs are at risk of overheating. The physical demands of the job in combination with hot summer weather can lead to heat stroke, which is a life threatening condition. The signs are excessive panting, trying to seek shade, drooling and collapsing.

'Heat stroke is an emergency and most animals that get hyperthermia need to be seen by a vet to help reduce their core temperature back to normal.'

When a dog’s core temperature begins to rise blood supply to the skin increases, but the blood supply reduces to vital internal organs such as the kidneys – potentially causing lifelong damage.

Things you can do to reduce the chances of heatstroke in your dog:

  • Try to keep dogs in the shade during the hottest part of the day
  • Try to do the bulk of mustering/work first thing in the morning
  • Ensure dogs have lots of access to cool, clean drinking water
  • Clip long-haired dogs during summer to help with heat control

If you notice a dog is too hot - hose the dog down, put them in a trough or cover them in wet, cool towels. Then contact your vet for further advice.