Basic care

Dog Overheating Signs

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: March 18, 2019
Dog Overheating Signs

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With the arrival of high temperatures this summer, our animals can easily suffer from too much heat. Therefore, we must be incredibly attentive to the well-being of our animals to avoid problems such as a overheating and fevers. Such temperature related problems can can lead to heat stroke in our dogs, which can be fatal. This can also happen when, due to misinformation for example, a dog is left locked inside the car, an action which can lead to the death of an animal.

In order to prevent such events from occurring, in this AnimalWised article, we will be discussing how to tell if your dog is overheating. By knowing the symptoms of a dog suffering from too much heat, you can address and treat this accordingly.

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  1. Dog overheating signs: normal temperature of a dog
  2. Dog overheating signs
  3. Dog overheating: causes
  4. Dog overheating at night: what to do

Dog overheating signs: normal temperature of a dog

The normal temperature of dogs is about 37.8-39.2 ºC, therefore you should not take human parameters as a reference. In addition, we must be clear about the following concepts:

  • Dog fur serves as a sun protector and heat regulator. For this reason, it is not advisable to shave your dog's coat, as it can prove to be counterproductive. This can however depend on the specific breed of your dog. You can always check with a canine hairdresser to find out the best option for your breed.
  • Dogs cannot sweat like people do, so they regulate their temperature by panting. Thus, they experience heat more severely than we do as cooling through panting is not as effective as sweating.
  • One must be especially attentive with: puppies, older dogs, ill dogs, dogs suffering from obesity or who are overweight and those with a flat nose with breathing difficulties.

Dog overheating signs

Warning signs of a dog overheating include:

  • Reduction of your activity: A dog that feels hot tends to slow down its movements. Thus, it is normal that if you see your dog lying down a lot, especially in shaded areas, that they are hot.
  • Excessive panting: Their breathing will be characterized predominantly by panting, with their tongue hanging out of their mouths. Panting also occurs when a dog is overheated after exercise.
  • Redenned Mucus: which can be noticed on a dog's gums when their mouths are open.
  • Diorientation: a dog that is overheating will get dizzy and appear confused

More severe dog overheating symptoms include:

  • Dog over heating seizure: A dog that is suffering from overheating may experience seizures and collapse or convulse.
  • Dog overheated throwing up: A dog that is overheating may experience excessive vomiting and diarrhea.

If you observe any of these dog overheating symptoms, the first thing to do, is provide them with a cool environment and water. Next, take your dog to the vet immediately. Overheating in dogs can be very dangerous and even fatal if not treated in time!

Dog Overheating Signs - Dog overheating signs

Dog overheating: causes

There are several consequences to a dog overheating. If their body temperature rises to 40-43 °C, a dog runs the risk of suffering from heat stroke, a disorder that can lead to death.

Heat stroke symptoms include;

  • Reddened mucous membranes
  • Intense panting
  • Thick saliva
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shock
  • Seizures
  • Death

Heat stroke is considered a veterinary emergency. The first measure to take if you believe that your dog is suffering from heat stroke, is to lower and stabilize your dog's body temperature.

Dog overheating at night: what to do

Prevention is the main key in making sure that your dog does not overheat. As we have already mentioned if your dog's temperature rises without the capacity of thermoregulation, consequences can be fatal. If you want to know how to stop a dog overheating, take a look at these tips:

  • Never leave your dog locked in a car or in a place that can reach high temperatures.
  • Always make sure that your dog has fresh water.
  • Make sure that there is shade available for your dog.
  • Do not walk or practice exercise with your dog during the hottest hours of the day.
  • You can cool your dog down by wetting it with a sprayer or a very damp towel. In addition, if available, offer your dog the opportunity to jump into a cold water pool or basin. Another option includes offering your dog ice cubes, or running some ice cubes over its body.
  • Homemade ice cream for dogs is an ideal natural option you can offer your dog to keep it cool in the summer.
  • If you do not have air conditioning in your house, by a fan for your dog.
  • As always, you must pay special attention to: younger dogs, sick dogs, elderly dogs or overweight dogs. If any symptoms are noticed, consult your veterinarian immediately.

If your dog is already overheating, take a look these tips on how to stop a dog from overheating:

  • Soak its body in COOL water, not too cold.
  • Take your dog to a lower temperature environment, preferable in the shade.
  • Give your dog water, to make sure that your dog is well hydrated!
  • Fan your dog.

Once your dog is sufficiently cooled down, we recommend taking it to your veterinarian just to make sure its health is still in good condition.

Dog Overheating Signs - Dog overheating at night: what to do

If you want to read similar articles to Dog Overheating Signs, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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Dog Overheating Signs