Dog Overheating – Signs, Prevention & What To Do


It’s hot outside, but the weather is nice,
so you take your dog out to play. You should take caution though, your poor
pooch isn’t quite as well equipped as you to shed excess body heat. Let’s explore the symptoms of overheating
in dogs, how to prevent it, and what to do about it in an emergency. You’re watching Animal Facts. First off, If your watching this video because
you think your dog is overheated and don’t know what to do, there is a timestamp in the
description that you can jump to. Go click that now. One of the adaptations that humans gained
to deal with heat is our lack of body hair. This adaptation allowed us to thrive spending
hours a day, hunting in the heat of the open Savannah. We shed excess heat by sweating. Our four legged friends, descending from wolf
populations in Europe between 20,000 – 40,000 years ago, however, aren’t so gifted in
that area. While being furry has many advantages for
cool climate species, shedding heat is not one of them. Dogs do sweat through their paw pads, but
it’s by panting that dogs circulate the necessary air through their bodies to cool down. This is efficient in cooler climates, but
in hot weather, your dog’s respiratory system lacks the surface area get the job done. Prevention Because prevention is always the better road
than treatment, let’s start by discussing how to keep your dog from getting overheated. First and foremost, never leave a dog in a
parked car. Even in nice 80 degree weather the temperature
inside a parked car can exceed 130 degrees in as little as 15 minutes. That quick little trip into the store could
be long enough to be dangerous for your dog, even with the windows cracked. This is one of the most prevalent causes of
heat stroke and heat related death of dogs. It can be easily prevented, just don’t do
it, not even for “just a minute.” In the dead of summer, try to limit outdoor
play to the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon. A good rule of thumb is if it’s warm for
you, it’s downright hot for your pooch. You should always encourage resting and drinking
water when outdoors for extended periods of time with your dog. Ofcourse, many dogs love water, which is always
a fun way to beat the heat. Just be careful, not all dogs doggy paddle
well. And, of course, always bring water for your
dog to drink while you’re out and about and encourage her to drink often. Signs of overheating. Dogs pant when they are hot. Of course panting doesn’t always mean it
overheating, but excessive panting is a good early warning. If you think your dog may be panting due to
heat, immediately start taking steps to cool her down. Offer water and encourage your dog take a
break in the shade. With the panting, you should watch for abundance
of drooling. At that point you should probably consider
taking your dog indoors. Further and more serious signs include:
Unstable on their feet or collapse. Its Gum Color can turn bluish purple, bright
red or pale from lack of oxygen. And then there are extreme signs that indicate
you should seek a vet immediately, as they can indicate heat stroke. Those are:
Disorientation, Elevated heart rate, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Labored breathing and
Anxiety. Treatment So, what should you do if your dog is overheated? According to the Canine Training Center, if
your dog’s temperature is 105 degrees or more, take immediate action and always cool
the dog off at home before traveling to the vet. How do you cool your dog off? Use tap water (luke warm, not hot or ice cold)
to douse the dog. Water that is too cold constricts blood vessels
and decreases the vessels ability to effectively transport sufficient amounts of blood back
to the body; therefore taking longer to cool the dog off. While dousing the dog with water, set a fan
to blow on the dog. Move the dog to shade or A/C. DO NOT force the dog drink water. Your dog may be too focused on breathing to
drink. Allow him to drink when he is ready. Continue all cool down attempts until the
panting stops. Stop cooling once the dog’s temperature
gets to 103 degrees; cooling any further could lead to hypothermia. Take your dog to the vet once she is cooled
and at a temperature of 103. What is heat stroke? According to Ernest Ward, DVM, heat stroke
is the term commonly used for hyperthermia or elevated body temperature. If a dog’s body temperature exceeds 103°F,
it is considered hyperthermic. Body temperatures above 106°F are most commonly
referred to as heat stroke. The critical temperature where multiple organ
failure and impending death occurs is around 107°F to 109°F. The prognosis depends on how high the body
temperature elevated, how long the hyperthermia persisted and what the physical condition
of the dog was prior to the heat stroke. If the body temperature did not become extremely
high, most healthy pets will recover quickly if they are treated immediately. Some dogs may experience permanent organ damage
or may die at a later date from complications that developed secondarily to the hyperthermia. Dogs that experience hyperthermia are at greater
risk for subsequent heat stroke due to damage to the thermoregulatory center. Any further exposure to heat should be kept
at a minimum. Breeds While all dogs are at risk for heat exhaustion
and heat stroke if allowed to overheat without treatment, some breeds are at a higher risk
than others. This is mostly the breeds that aren’t able
to cool down as quickly as others and are often the brachycephalic breeds. Brachycephalic breeds are dogs that have shortened
or “squished” faces. Because their muzzles and heads are shortened
and widened but with the same amount of soft tissue as a regular dog, they often have difficulty
breathing – therefore they have difficulty cooling down. Those breeds include: Bulldogs (English, American
and French), Pugs, Boxers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Akitas, Boston Terriers, Pekingese,
Shih Tzus, Chow Chows, Sharpeis and Bullmastiffs. Dogs such as Siberian Huskies and Alaskan
Malamutes or other artic dogs should also be closely monitored. And with these double coated breeds, shaving
won’t keep them cooler. It will just make regulating their temperature
more difficult, because as I mentioned earlier, dogs don’t get rid of heat through their
skin. They lose it through their respiratory system. I don’t always cover medical topics, but
some are prevalent enough to take time off to cover. I’ll get back to the fun stuff next time,
until then hey, stay cool and keep your dog cool.

7 thoughts on “Dog Overheating – Signs, Prevention & What To Do

  • Thank you for very useful content!!!👍👍
    It is very helpful!!
    One more question, would those doggy icecream help them lose heat in their body? Is icecream better than water for this purpose?

  • Hi Leroy. I'm really glad that you put the don't leave animals in the car part of your video. The only time we take our dogs on car excursions is if it is between 50° and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Our backyard is pretty big and it has 12 Trees. Makes for great shade for the dogs. Our bullmastiff Shar-Pei mix loves to lay out in the sun so we have to monitor her very closely. The Yorkie mix is the one that seems to get overheated the fastest, probably cuz he's so small. Our husky mix is constantly on the Move outside and he seems to get the least heated.

    So glad you did this video! Most people have no idea what the signs of overheating are in their dogs. Thanks again for another great video. You rock!

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