Now that warmer weather is officially here, so are the days of blazing hot sun and high temperatures, which brings along the risk of dogs overheating and passing out from heat exhaustion, having a stroke and – in extreme cases – death.
That’s why it’s so important to recognize signs of overheating. That way, when it happens, you can quickly cool down your dog and prevent any sort of health-related emergency.
Early Signs of Overheating in Dogs
- Pulling toward the shade on its leash
- Excessively lagging behind when walking
- Stopping to cool off in puddles of water
- Constantly needing to lay down and panting
Signs Your Dog May Be Overheating
- Heavy panting
- Excessive thirst
- Glazed eyes
- Bloody diarrhea
- Bright or dark red tongue and gums
- Fluctuating or elevated body temperature (104 degrees Fahrenheit and up)
- Increased pulse and heartbeat
- Excessive drooling
How to Cool Down a Dog
- Recognize the early signs and know your dog’s limits. Allow them to cool off should they start to pull towards shade or seek out a place to rest.
- Bring fresh water for them to drink, but do not allow them to drink too much, too quickly, as it can cause their stomach to flip.
- our water in your hand and rub it down the top and bottom of their muzzle, neck, underbelly and paws.
- Soak a towel in cool water and drape it around your dog to help them cool off. For smaller dogs, use lukewarm water.
What Not to Do if Your Dog is Overheating
- Do not allow your dog to overexert themselves even if they look like they’re not phased as many working breeds will work themselves until they collapse.
- Do not give your dog ice cold water to drink.
- Do not pour ice cold water over their head as it can send them into shock.
And lastly, DO NOT leave your dog in a car during the summer even if you roll the windows down.
Dogs have a higher body temperature than we do so they heat up quickly. Not only that, but a car can reach 120 degrees in 20 to 30 minutes even when it’s 75 degrees outside. Once temperatures reach those numbers in your car, your dog will either suffer severe damage to his or her organs or die from heat stroke.
The same goes for leaving your dog tied up outside on a hot day. Without water or shade, they could overheat, and they’re exposed to other potential risks.
Dogs That Are at a Higher Risk of Overheating
Dogs that are not built for hot weather, sick dogs, older dogs and flat-faced breeds are especially susceptible to overheating. But any dog can be at risk if they’re allowed to overexert themselves or if they’re left in hot conditions for too long.
Thank you for your continued support and remember to keep you and yours cool for the summer!
Canine Perspective, Inc.