Top 5 Dog Breeds at Higher Risk of Heatstroke: Keeping Your Canine Companion Cool

By Ehtesham

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As the temperature soars, it’s essential for dog owners to be aware that not all dog breeds handle heat well. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from heatstroke, a potentially life-threatening condition.

In this article, we will explore five dog breeds that are at a higher risk of heatstroke and discuss how to keep them cool and safe during hot weather.


Bulldogs, with their stocky bodies and short noses, are adorable companions. However, these physical traits can make them more susceptible to heatstroke.

Bulldogs have difficulty regulating their body temperature in hot weather due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) nature. It’s crucial to limit their exposure to heat and provide them with plenty of shade and water.


Similar to Bulldogs, Pugs are brachycephalic dogs. Their distinctive wrinkled faces and compact size can hinder their ability to cool down efficiently. Pugs may struggle in hot weather, so it’s important to avoid strenuous activities during peak temperatures and ensure they have a cool resting place indoors.


Huskies are renowned for their endurance in cold climates, but they are not well-suited for extreme heat. These dogs have a thick double coat designed for insulation, making them prone to overheating. If you own a Husky, ensure they have access to shade and avoid exercise during the hottest parts of the day.

Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are small and fluffy dogs that can overheat quickly in high temperatures. Their long, dense coats trap heat, making them susceptible to heatstroke. Regular grooming to keep their coat manageable and providing a cool environment can help mitigate the risk.

French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs, another brachycephalic breed, are gaining popularity as pets. However, their physical characteristics make them vulnerable to heat-related issues. Extra precautions, such as limiting outdoor activities on hot days and monitoring their water intake, are essential for their well-being.

How to Prevent

Provide Ample Water: Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Dehydration increases the risk of heatstroke.

Avoid Midday Exercise: On scorching days, opt for early morning or evening walks when the temperature is lower.

Create Shade: If your dog spends time outdoors, ensure there is a shaded area where they can retreat from the sun.

Use Cooling Products: Consider using cooling vests, mats, or bandanas designed for dogs to help regulate their body temperature.

Never Leave in a Hot Car: Even a few minutes in a hot car can be deadly. Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle.


Understanding the unique vulnerabilities of certain dog breeds to heatstroke is essential for responsible pet ownership. By taking precautions, providing a cool environment, and being attentive to their needs, you can ensure that your beloved four-legged friend stays safe and comfortable during hot weather.


Can any dog breed suffer from heatstroke?

Yes, all dogs are at risk of heatstroke if exposed to extreme heat. However, some breeds, due to their physical characteristics, are more vulnerable.

How can I tell if my dog is overheating?

Signs of overheating in dogs include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and bright red gums. If you notice these symptoms, move your dog to a cooler place immediately.

Should I shave my dog’s coat in the summer to prevent heatstroke?

It’s generally not recommended to shave a dog’s coat, as it can interfere with their natural cooling mechanisms. Instead, opt for regular grooming to manage their fur.

Are there any breeds that are naturally better at handling hot weather?

Some breeds, like the Basenji and the Chihuahua, are better suited for warmer climates. However, all dogs should be protected from extreme heat.

What should I do if I suspect my dog has heatstroke?

If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, move them to a cooler place, offer water, and contact your veterinarian immediately. Heatstroke is a medical emergency.

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