Dog Overheating - Signs, Treatment & Prevention

Dog Overheating - Signs, Treatment & Prevention

Author WDF Staff


Summer has many advantages, especially if you are a dog owner. There are a lot more potential activities you can share with your dog. But with all good things, there are also some you need to be extra careful about. Overheating in dogs is a serious health concern, and it is your responsibility as a dog owner to protect your dog during hot summer days. Whether you go on an adventure with your dog or leave your dog at the house, you must provide him with all the necessary things to prevent and avoid overheating.

Many dog owners don’t realize how dangerous this state is and don’t be surprised when you learn that overheating could quickly become fatal if you don’t provide your dog with proper care. World Dog Finder experts are bringing you all the necessary information you need to know to prevent overheating, recognize overheating symptoms, and what to do if you notice that your dog is overheating.

Why do dogs overheat?

When the dog’s body temperature rises, no matter what the cause is, your dog will try to regulate their body temperature by panting. In case of overheating, your dog will not be able to regulate its temperature, and the overheating symptoms will start to show. This condition varies from mild to serious. Mild overheating can be treated at home, and in most cases, your dog will be safe if he receives proper care, while for severe overheating, your dog could start collapsing, and in the most serious cases, organ failure can occur.

Dogs are much more sensitive to heat than humans, and you always have to be sure that you’re providing your dog with proper care regarding heat. Believe us when we say you don’t want to watch your dog show symptoms of overheating.

chihuahua drinking water

RELATED: Dog Panting - All You Need To Know

Signs your dog is overheated

Since dogs will not sweat as humans do, and they will typically use panting to cool down, you will have to be able to find symptoms that indicate overheating. Take note that overheating can happen lightning fast; the minute you notice symptoms, you must help your dog.

Luckily for you, noticing overheating symptoms shouldn't be hard, and you can act fast. Here are the most common signs of overheating in dogs:

  • Extreme panting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased and irregular heartbeat
  • Gum color changes
  • General weakness
  • Disorientation
  • Lethargy
  • Thirst
  • Collapsing

You must act fast and help your dog if you notice these symptoms. Provide your dog with proper care to save him. Remember that every second is vital since overheating can quickly become fatal.

RELATED: Heat Stroke in Dogs - Signs, Treatment & Prevention

What to do if your dog is overheated?

If you start noticing signs and symptoms of overheating with your dog, imminently take action and help your dog by cooling him down.

Here is what you should do:

  1. Take your dog into a cooled area
  2. Put cool and wet towels on the dog’s neck, arms, ears, and paws
  3. Offer him fresh and cold water if he wants to drink; if not, don’t force your dog
  4. During the cooling process, call your vet and explain what happened, and your vet will, in most cases, advise you to come to the clinic.

Take note that even if your dog shows signs of recovery, there could still be some damage done, and your dog should be monitored by your vet, especially in case of severe overheating.

In case your dog collapse, rush to the nearest clinic.

dog cooling down

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How to prevent overheating in dogs?

As a dog parent, you must keep your dog safe and healthy. To prevent overheating, there are some things you can do to ensure your dog never experience this health problem. Follow these tips, and you can be sure that your dog will be safe.

1. Always provide fresh and cold water

First, what you need to do during hot days is to keep your dog hydrated. Always provide him with fresh and clean water to drink and cool down.

2. Never leave your dog in a car

No matter how often we say this, some people still will do this with an excuse: “I was gone for only 5 minutes.”. Five minutes is a lot for a dog trapped in a hot car. You should never leave your dog in the car. That is the rule.

dog drinking water

RELATED: 7 Tips for Keeping Dogs Comfortable During Car Rides

3. Limit activities during the hot summer days

During summer, try to rearrange your schedule regarding dog activities. It is best to exercise your dog early in the morning and late at night. By doing this, you can ensure your dog will not be exposed to extreme heat. Still, even then, you should be careful and always provide your dog with fresh and cool water.

4. Keep your house cool

If your dog stays home alone, you must provide a cool area. If you are gone for a few hours, think about turning your AC on the whole time you are gone. Doing this will give your dog a friendly and cool house and will not be exposed to overheating.

5. Always watch your dog

This rule should apply every day, not just during summer. Watching your dog and providing he is good and healthy will make you a responsible dog owner. We know that being a dog parent sometimes is not easy, but since our dogs rely on us, we must provide them with everything they need to be happy and healthy.

World Dog Finder team

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