How to Keep Your Dog from Getting Overheated

Have you ever noticed your dog panting and wondered what it’s all about? Well you see, dogs pant because they don’t really have sweat glands. Panting allows them to release a little bit of excess body heat.

However, that cute little pant may not be enough to completely cool your pup down. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to keep on eye on your canines temperature so that they don’t run into trouble. Read on to learn how to keep your dog from getting overheated.

What Could Happen if Your Dog Gets Overheated?

Your dog could experience heat exhaustion if their body temperature goes beyond 103 F (39.4 C). Moreover, if your canine reaches the high end of 106 F (41.1 C), they could actually suffer a heat stroke which could cause their organs to shut down. Or worse, their heart could stop beating.

They could also hyperventilate, their gums could become dry and pale and their breathing could slow down to the point of stopping which may cause them to have a seizure or fall into a coma.

Other symptoms of overheating are; if your dog starts vomiting, has diarrhea, starts looking confused, and feeling weak (like he is going to pass out). Also, their pulse can become rapid and erratic, and recital bleeding may occur.

Symptoms of dog overheated

How to Know if Your Dog is too Hot

First, you’ll need to know where your dog is at all times so that you can keep on eye on how much they are panting. If you notice a large increase in panting accompanied with drooling, then that’s a sign your dog is too hot (overheating).

Other symptoms your dog is overheated include:

  • Doesn’t respond when called
  • Glazed eyes
  • Dizzy looking
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness

Therefore, it’s important if you notice the above symptoms to take action and help as soon as you possibly can! Just remember, our dogs get hotter than we do. So, if you feel hot, then chances are that your pup feels it more so. Plus, if you canine runs away seeking shade you can use this missing dog website to try and locate your dog quickly and get help.

Overheated dog going for a swim

How to Cool Down Your Overheated Dog

Cooling your dog down can be as simple as taking them to a cool place, such as inside your air conditioned house or a public area that dogs are allowed.

However, if you are away from home, but are near a body of fresh water like a lake, then why not take your dog for a swim.

If it's not safe for them to take a dip (i.e. if it's a strong flowing river, or there are signs saying ‘no dogs allowed’) then you can take a towel or cloth, something to dip into the water.

Place the wet towel on your dog, specifically on his neck, between his back legs, under his front legs, and you can even gently wet your pups ears and paws.

Additional read: Swimming Safety Tips for Dogs

Another way to help fido cool down is by giving him cold water to drink. However, do not force the water down his throat as it could end up getting into his lungs. If you are having trouble getting your dog to drink the water or keep it down, gently wet their tongue with the water.

Important note:

It’s a bad idea to give ice to your dog, as it decreases their body temperature to quickly which could lead to your canine going into shock.

The best thing to do if your dog is overheating is to get him to your veterinarian as soon as possible. However, you should probably call ahead of time, so that they have time to prepare for your dog’s arrival.

Why you ask? Well, your dog might end up needing oxygen and other types of liquids and your vet will need to get that all ready for your arrival.

Young pup avoiding the heat by playing in the water sprinkler

How to Avoid Overheating All Together

There are many ways that you can prevent your dog from overheating. Such as taking them for walks when the weather is cooler (early mornings or later in the evening). Also, make sure that you take cool water with you on your walks. Give your dog a lot more breaks in the shade to rest and cool down during hot summer days.

If your canine is a high-energy and needs exercise to calm him down, then consider taking him for a swim or let him run through the sprinklers. Letting them try to bite the water coming out of the garden hose is also a fun way for them to exercise as well as to cool them down.

If your dog is fashion forward you could have them wear a cooling vest. However, if they do not like to wear outfits and keep trying to take them off, then consider giving you pup a haircut.

This is wonderful for dogs that have long hair, and they will be grateful to you for their new do. Don’t worry, their hair will grow back; just make sure that there is still enough fur that they avoid getting sunburned

Final Thoughts

The best thing you can do to keep your dog from getting overheated is to keep them hydrated and make sure that when it's hot to keep them in cool areas as much as possible - whether it’s at home with a fan blowing, a swimming event , or a nice walk in a shady meadow. Your dog will surely appreciate it!

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