8 Signs of Heat Stress in Your Dog
Our four-legged friends don’t handle the heat like we do. Unlike us, dogs don’t sweat out excess body heat. Though dogs typically release heat by panting, this may not always be enough to cool down. As a result, your beloved pooch can quickly become overheated, if not acclimated.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to identify signs that your dog is overheating. If your pooch is becoming distressed in the hot temperatures, you may start to notice symptoms such as:
- Excessive panting and short of breath
- Excessive drooling
- Changes in gum color or tongue (bright or dark red)
- Elevated body temperature
- Increased pulse and heartbeat
- Excessive thirst
- Disorientation, stumbling or weakness
What to Do if Your Dog is Overheated
If you begin to recognize signs of overheating in your pup, you’ll want to take immediate action to cool him down.
- Get him indoors to a cool place, like an air-conditioned room or in front of a fan.
- Place cool, wet cloths or towels on his neck, armpits, or behind his hind legs. You can also gently wet his ears and paws with the cool water.
- If he is willing to drink, offer him cold water, but do not force him.
- Take him to the vet. You may also want to call ahead so your vet can be prepared for your dog’s treatment.
If your dog goes unconscious, do not delay and take him to a vet or animal ER right away.
How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion for Your Dog
As a pet parent, it’s important to take the right prevention steps to keep your dog protected from over-heating and understand how to respond if your dog should become stressed in hot temperatures. By using the following tips, you can help your dog from dangerous heat-related issues.
Limit outdoor activity on extremely hot or humid days
If you do take your pup on routine or long walks, you might want to stick to cooler hours of the day, such as early in the morning and later in the evening. Summer activities such as swimming or letting your dog run through the sprinkler can also be refreshing activities for highly active dogs that need to release more energy, even on a sweltering day.
Keep your best friend hydrated
If you plan on any type of activity outdoors, make sure you bring water with you and let him take frequent breaks.
Never leave your dog alone in the car in heated temperatures – ever.
Even if you are parked in a shaded area with the windows down, temperatures in your car can quickly rise much higher than you think.
Monitor your dog
If your dog lays in the sun or spends a little extra time outside, pay close attention to any signs he could be stressed. Prevention is the best cure for keeping your dog protected in the heat.