How to Prevent Pitbulls from Getting Heatstroke?

Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition seen all too often in vet clinics nationwide. During the summer, our Animal Emergency Service hospitals see a dramatic increase in Pitbulls suffering from heat stroke cases.

Unfortunately, we have found many Pitbull owners are unaware their Pitbulls can severely overheat to the point where it becomes life-threatening, and often, treatment is too late.

This guide will provide information on the causes, signs, and symptoms of heat stroke, as well as treatment and tips to avoid heat stroke in your dog.

Understanding Heatstroke in Pitbulls

Heatstroke, or overheating or heat exhaustion, occurs when your Pitbull’s body temperature rises above the normal range of 100 to 102.2 degrees.

Dogs have few sweat glands and cannot cool off by sweating like humans, so they overheat more easily. Pitbulls mainly cool off by panting, as moisture evaporation from the oral cavity helps lower body temperature.

Heatstroke most commonly occurs when Pitbulls are left outside on hot days, but it also can develop if:

  • There is high humidity, even if the temperature is lower
  • Your Pitbull doesn’t take breaks from playing to cool off
  • Your Pitbull doesn’t have adequate access to water in warm temperatures
  • Your Pitbull is left in a closed-up house on a hot day with no ventilation or air conditioning
  • Your Pitbull is left inside a car, even if it does not seem hot outside

Heatstroke is a dangerous health condition that can cause death if warning signs are not recognized immediately.

Heatstroke Signs in Pitbulls

As you enjoy a game of fetch or frisbee with your puppy, keep a close eye on her for overheating signs, such as:

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, with or without blood
  • Weakness
  • Incoordination or stumbling
  • Sudden collapse
  • Seizures

Act immediately if your Pitbull displays any of these signs. Once your Pitbull begins to overheat, heatstroke progresses quickly.

How to Prevent Pitbulls from Getting Heatstroke?

Follow these instructions and observe your dog to avoid heat exhaustion on hot days.

  • Don’t let your dog exhaust his body on hot days. Make them take breaks in between playing around or doing exercise. Your Pit Bull’s body needs time to regulate the heat that has built up in its body. Therefore, make sure that you provide those breaks.
  • Wipe cold water around your Pit Bull’s stomach on hot summer days. This will help their body cool down quickly.
  • Frozen treats are also a great idea!
  • Limit exercising to cooler times, such as early mornings and evenings.
  • Most importantly, ensure you provide your Pit Bull access to clean, cold water throughout the day.

Why Does My Pitbull Overheat so Easily?

Any hot conditions can cause heat stroke in dogs. The most common reason is careless actions by a Pitbull owner, like leaving a dog in a car or forgetting to provide clean and cold water & shade when they are outdoors.

Some dogs are more prone to heat stroke than others. Dogs with thick fur, short noses, or those suffering from medical conditions are predisposed to heatstroke.

Even dogs such as Pitbulls, who enjoy constant exercise and playtime, should be closely monitored for symptoms of heat stroke, especially on hot and humid days.

What to Do if Your Pitbull Is Overheating?

  • Run cool water over the stomach and groin area. Using a water hose is ideal, but if all you have is bottled water, pour it evenly over your abdomen and groin. Then fan your Pitbull with a towel or shirt.
  • Please put them in front of an air conditioner. If you’re outdoors, take them to your car and put them directly in front of the air conditioning.
  • Wipe rubbing alcohol over their bellies. When the alcohol as it evaporates, it will cool them down. Wipe them down thoroughly around their belly and groin areas.
  • Wet them down and put them in the shade. You can wet them completely and put them in the shade to help cool them down.
  • If you suspect your dog is overheating, immediately get them to the vet. Put them in your car, roll down the windows, turn the air conditioner on high, and put them directly in front of it to start cooling them down.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pitbulls Prone to Overheating?

Yes, Pitbulls are easily prone to overheating due to their large muscles and short muzzle. It is difficult for Pitbulls to cool down their bodies through heavy breathing, so they overheat.

How Do You Cool Down a Pitbull?

If your Pitbull is overheating, you should rub cold water on his chest, put some rubbing alcohol on him, bring him in front of an air conditioning, and take your Pitbull to the vet immediately.

How Do I Keep My Pitbull Cool in The Summer?

Keep out cold water for your dogs, and also make sure to keep them in the shade and cool place during the day. You shouldn’t let your Pitbull stay in the sun for too long either, and try not to keep him inside all the time.


Any dog or pet can overheat, and you must be aware of and understand the symptoms of overheating. Becoming a responsible owner and protecting your Pitbull’s life is necessary.

It is better to prevent overheating from happening than to handle it when it’s too late. Good luck!

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