How To Tell If Your Dog Is Overheated

We’ve had some serious heat waves across the country and since I co-hosted a Clubhouse room on Friday about the topic, I thought I’d share with y’all as well.

Let’s start with symptoms of over-heating for our dogs

According to our favorite veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, here are some signs of over-heating in our dogs:

– Elevated body temperature
– Weakness
– Heavy panting or rapid breathing
– Bright or dark red tongue
– Excessive drooling
– Stumbling
– Glazed eyes
– Vomiting
– Bloody diarrhea
– Excessive thirst
– Seizures
– Increased pulse and heartbeat
– Unconsciousness

YIKES! Those all sound pretty scary!

So, what can we do?

First, avoid it at all costs. Keep your pet indoors when it’s too hot outside. For me a general rule of thumb (for Kimberly anyway) is anything over 80*F.

Plan outdoor activities for the coolest parts of the day. Never – NEVER EVER – leave your dog in a car alone, especially when the sun is beating down.

Dogs most at risk for over-heating are puppies and senior dogs, dogs who are ill, and flat-faced dogs.

Also, don’t walk your dogs on hot pavement, and make sure that your dog always has access to fresh, cool drinking water!

According to Dr. Becker, “Canines regulate their body temperature primarily by panting, which isn’t terribly efficient in hot weather. In a very short period of time, an overheated dog can suffer severe, irreversible damage to the brain, heart, liver and nervous system.”

What to do if you think your dog is overheated

1. Go inside with A/C! Or at least to a shady spot if you can’t get inside immediately
2. If your dog is unable to stand, rush to the emergency vet now!
3. If your dog is able to stand, start offering small amounts of water. Don’t offer too much at one time, as that could lead to vomiting which will lead to even more severe dehydration.
4. Start slowly pouring cool (not cold) water over your dog’s body

Ideally, you want their temperature to be 104*F or below, at which point you can stop the cool water bath.

For me, I’d rather not take a chance and get my dog to the vet ASAP, doing as much as I can to help cool them down on the way. You will probably want to have someone else drive so you can do this.

I hope this is something you never have to put into action, but it’s certainly something I want to know just in case.