As the weather starts to get warmer, it's easy to want to go out and enjoy a nice day. Your doggie probably loves to take long walks or play in the park. However, unlike people, they don't know when it's time to step away from the sun. This can be dangerous as it can lead to overheating.
When a dog overheats, they can suffer heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or sudden death from cardiac arrest. To avoid ever getting to that point, check out below a few overheating signs, as well as quick fixes to help your dog feel better.
Unlike people, dogs don't sweat out excess body heat. While dogs do have a few sweat glands located in their paws, these don't regulate their body temperature much. Instead, they try to cool down by panting.
While it's pretty normal for dogs to start panting even when they are just slightly warm if your dog starts panting excessively, it can be a sign that they might be starting to overheat. Because panting is common, you should make sure to pay attention if there are any other signs happening.
A few ways you can recognize whether your dog is dehydrated are if your dog has a dry nose, noticeable tiredness, excessive panting, and sunken eyes. They might also have trouble producing urine.
Bright red or blue gums
When a dog's gum changes to a bright red or blue color, it can mean that there's a lack of oxygen.
Lethargy or Disorientation
Overheating can cause dogs to nap more than normal. It can also make them weaker, making them have trouble standing up or walking.
Vomiting or Diarrhea
One of the most common symptoms of overheating is vomiting or diarrhea. If your dog is already dehydrated, this can make the situation much worse.
If your dog is drooling more than normal, or if their drool is thicker and sticker than usual, it can be a sign of overheating.
What should you do if your dog is overheating?
- Immediately take your dog somewhere cooler, preferably somewhere indoors.
- Offer him small amounts of lukewarm water to drink. Make sure it's not too much, as it might cause him to vomit.
- Try to lower your dog's body temperature by wetting his body with water. Do not use cold water, as you don't want to shift their body temperature too fast. For very small dogs or puppies, make sure to use lukewarm water instead of cool. It's also helpful to apply water to their paws and ears.
- Allow a fan to blow cool air on him if possible. If you have a pet thermometer handy, check his temperature every few minutes. Once their temperature drops to 103 F, you can remove the fan and stop applying water.
- As he continues to cool down, give him a little more water to drink
- Even if you think your dog is feeling better, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. They will check for any issues or complications and advise you on the next steps.
To prevent overheating, make sure your dog has enough rest and drinks plenty of water. Also, try to walk them at cooler times of the day and never leave them inside a car alone.