Do you want to make sure that your dog enjoys the dog days of summer as much as you do? To keep your dogs happy and healthy this summer, it’s important to be aware of the signs that your dog may be getting overheated. Dogs are not like us humans - they cannot sweat to cool themselves down, and must rely on panting and other methods to lower their temperature. Flat-nosed dogs, older dogs, overweight dogs, and thick-coated cold weather breeds are especially prone to overheating - but when temperatures climb to the 80s and 90s (or even higher), any dog can struggle in the heat. Read on to learn some quick ways to know if your dog is getting too hot and what you can do to help your canine companions stay comfortable during the summer heat.
Early signs your dog is getting hot include:
- Panting heavily
- Low energy
- Lower than usual interest in playing
When you see your dog exhibiting early signs of being overheated, you’ll want to provide them with extra water to drink, splash them with cool water (or let them lay down in cool water), and seek a cooler environment. Avoid using ice or extremely cold water so that you do not cool them down too quickly and shock their body.
Signs that your dog may be dangerously overheated include:
- Excessive panting or hyperventilating
- Dry, red gums
- Thick salivation
- Acting weak or confused
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Rapid pulse
If you feel that your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms of heatstroke — or if their behavior is markedly unusual in a way that is concerning — you’ll want to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
So how can you and your dog enjoy the summer sun safely? You’ll want avoid exercising them during the hottest hours of the day — instead, play and go for walks earlier in the morning or later in the evening when possible. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water to drink. And importantly, never leave your dog unattended in an overheated car or outside when the weather is warm. If you would feel overheated, so would your dog!
By keeping your dog hydrated, avoiding walking them on hot surfaces or spending prolonged time outside during the hottest parts of the day, and remaining attentive to how your dog is handling the conditions, your can help your pooch stay safe during the warm summer months.