Overheated Dogs: Tips to Avoid Dehydration and Signs to Watch for
June 15th, 2016 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic
As we head into the hot days of our Colorado summer, it’s a great time to chat about overheated dogs.
Our Castle Rock vets want to share tips on how to keep your dog hydrated and happy.
That way, you and your pup can enjoy these warm days to the fullest!
(Worried your dog may be overheated? If you live in or near Castle Rock, Colorado, call us at 303-688-3757.)
What causes overheated dogs
We see two common causes of overheated dogs at our Castle Rock veterinary clinic:
- Extreme activity on very warm days.
- Long, hot car rides without air conditioning.
Tip! If you’re going to be out on a hike or taking a car ride without air conditioning, make sure you’re frequently giving your dog water — at least every hour.
In addition, if you’re out being active, make sure you encourage your dog to periodically rest. (Sometimes, dogs need that encouragement from their humans!)
It’s helpful to understand how dogs cool off
Dogs don’t sweat like humans.
Rather, they sweat through panting. They also sweat through the pads of their feet.
When dogs are panting, they lose moisture and heat.
While panting helps them cool down, it also can lead to dehydration.
Signs of a dehydrated dog
You may notice your furry friend is:
- Panting heavily… and can’t seem to stop
- Acting lethargic… and doesn’t want to continue your current activity
In addition, if you look at your dog’s nose, mouth and gums, they may look dry, instead of wet.
And if your dog is really dehydrated, his or her eyeballs may sink in a little bit.
What to do for a dehydrated dog
If you believe your dog is overheated and dehydrated, you should do several things right away:
- Encourage your dog to drink water
- Wrap your pup’s paws in ice packs
- Wrap your dog in a towel that’s been dipped in cold water
Visit a veterinarian immediately if:
- Your dog isn’t drinking water. (Overheated dogs can feel nauseous and may not want to drink.)
- Or in extreme cases, your dog has passed out.
It’s critical for a veterinarian to administer fluids and take the appropriate action as soon as possible.
Keep in mind, hot days aren’t limited to summer…
Dog overheating and dehydration can take place during other seasons too.
Several years ago, you may remember seeing news stories about hunters in Nebraska. They took their dogs out hunting on an unseasonably hot autumn day. The guides didn’t realize their dogs were overheating. And the dogs didn’t want to stop the excitement of the hunt.
The result? The dogs became quite ill from heat stroke.
A little awareness goes a long way in keeping your dog healthy!
Where to learn more about dog dehydration and overheating
Check out the helpful infographic below from Murdoch University in Australia.
(Click the image to view it full-size.)
Infographic source: Murdoch University
The American Kennel Club also has a helpful article on dog dehydration and overheating.
Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.
This article is intended to provide general guidance on dog dehydration and overheating. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)
© 2016, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic