It’s summertime, and with that comes hotter temperatures. Did you know that your dog can get overheated too? What’s different about dogs is that they have a harder time cooling their bodies off than humans do. Knowing the signs of overheating in your dog, ways to quickly cool your dog down, and how you can prevent overheating in your dog can ensure that your dog stays healthy this summer!
How Do You Know if Your Dog Is Overheated? 5 Signs of Overheating in Dogs
One of the first signs that your dog is overheating or is getting too hot can be panting. This is a sign that your dog is trying to cool himself down, just like our body uses sweating to cool ourselves down. While you may see your furry friend panting after playing catch or going on a good walk, excessive panting especially during warmer temperatures can be a sign that your companion needs to cool down quick.
Vomiting & Diarrhea
Vomiting and Diarrhea are a sure way to know that your pup is sick in some way. When accompanied by being out in the sun too long or getting hot, you can be sure that your dog got overheated. Be sure to give your vet a call and get your dog cooled down in the meantime to see if symptoms lessen. If the vomiting or diarrhea gets worse, especially accompanied by blood, take your dog to the nearest vet or animal hospital immediately.
Disorientation & Unusual Behavior
If your dog begins to act a little funny after being in the heat too long or getting overheated, it can be a sure sign that your pup needs to take it easy and cool off. Signs of disorientation in dogs can include:
- Unsteady standing or walking
- Shaking or weak movements
- Inability to get up
If you notice your dog doing any of these things, be sure to act quick to prevent more serious complications. Give your vet a call and get your dog cooled off inside or where there is some shade.
Bright red or blue gums
One of the most obvious signs that your dog is overheated can be bright red or bright blue gums. This can be a serious sign that your dog is severely overheated. When their gums turn blue it’s because they aren’t receiving enough oxygen just like how we can change a funky color when we aren’t receiving enough oxygen to our bodies. This can be a more severe sign that your pup needs to cool off immediately and may need a trip to the vet to ensure there are no lasting effects.
It’s never a good sign when your dog collapses. While this may be due to several causes, if paired with any of the other items on this list and especially during hot weather, this can be a warning sign that your dog is overheated. If your dog gets too hot and passes out, seek immediate medical attention by going to the closest veterinary clinic or animal hospital. Keep your pup cool until you get there but be sure to tell your vet you are on the way and what signs you noticed in your dog before he passed out.
How do you cool down an overheated dog?
If your dog got too much sun or shows signs of being overheated, there are a few actions you can take to get him cooled off before things get more severe.
Bring Him Inside
The quickest way to cool your dog down is to get him inside and by the AC. Getting him out of the hot sun or hot temperatures can be a quick way to get him the cool relief he needs. Let him rest and recover, and keep the outside playtimes to a minimum on especially hot days.
Find Some Shade
If you are at the park or on a trail and quick access to AC isn’t an option, then quickly get your dog in a shaded area. If there is water nearby, you can let him get his paws wet and cool down much quicker. Be sure it’s a safe place for him to get in though.
Keep Him Hydrated
Keeping your dog hydrated with plenty of water is essential during hot weather. Get him some water to help him cool down and let him rest to recover. Push the fluids the rest of the day and make sure he drinks a healthy amount. If you know you are going to go on a walk or longer trip, be sure to bring water for your companion!
If you try all of these things and noticed that your pup is getting worse or is experiencing any signs of overheating, give your vet a call or visit your closest veterinarian for immediate care.
Pet-Friendly Activities During the Summer
Finding pet-friendly activities to keep your dog cool during the hotter months allows your dog to stretch his legs while also staying cool. Any water activity is a great way to keep your dog cool. Try filling up a kiddie pool, turning on the sprinklers, or taking your dog to a pet-friendly river or lake. Be sure to bring plenty of water and keep an eye on your dog for signs of overheating. If your dog has longer fur, it may be a good time for a summer haircut too!