Hot Dog! Signs that Your Dog Is Overheated

High humidity and soaring temperatures can make for a dangerous combination for our pet companions. Sometimes, we make the mistake of assuming dogs can handle warm weather better than us. However, that is not the case. Dogs are prone to sunburn, heatstroke, and heat stress from being out in intense sun and heat for too long.

In order to avoid a sun related emergency, the team at Berkeley Veterinary Center is here to give you some recommendations to keep your dog cool. We will explain what to watch for, if your dog is overheated, so you can act quickly.

Overheating in Dogs

Overheating is a condition caused by high temperatures. The likelihood of overheating in dogs can escalate during exercise, being in an enclosed car without airflow, and when humidity is high. When your dog is too hot, certain symptoms will manifest:

  • Panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • Increased pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Red tongue and gums
  • Drooling
  • Collapse
  • Seizures

As your dog’s internal temperature begins to rise, they are then at risk of heatstroke, a dangerous condition that occurs when the body’s internal temperature raises over 109 F.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Overheating

Any dog can be adversely affected by spending too much time in hot weather, but certain breeds and circumstances increase the risk of heatstroke and heat stress. Brachycephalic dogs, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boxers, and others, are ill-equipped to deal with heat. This is because their facial structure already puts a strain on their respiratory system.

Senior dogs are also prone to heat illnesses, along with puppies and pets dealing with medical issues, like asthma.

Prevention of Heatstroke in Dogs

Keeping your pet cool and comfortable in warm weather relies on some basic summer safety tips.

  • Exercise your dog in short bursts, before 10am or after 4pm, to avoid the hotter times of day.
  • Keep your pet hydrated by bringing water for them wherever you go. Add some ice cubes to the bowl at home to encourage them to drink more.
  • Make sure your pet has access to some form of shade, even if you have to bring an umbrella.
  • Pay attention to how your fur friend is feeling, and go indoors if they seem uncomfortable or are panting more.

If your pet is at the point of collapse, or is in distress, call us immediately. Heatstroke is a serious condition.  Your pet will need to be taken to a cool room. Wrap them in tap-water soaked towels (never cold or ice water) to decrease the internal temperature while the veterinarian instructs you on next steps.

If you have additional questions about hot weather safety and your pet, please contact us!

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