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What to do to prevent your dog from overheating in high temperatures. 

Pets

If you think you have an overheating dog, then there are many things you can do to make sure it doesn’t get too serious. This article will teach you how to identify the signs that your dog is overheating and how to keep your dog cool in hot weather.

Dogs feel the heat the same way as we do, but unlike us, they can’t vocalise their discomfort and tell you what they need. Fortunately, they display visual symptoms of overheating that are not that hard to pick up on. 

The first sign of an overheating dog is panting. 

  • Panting

Panting is to dogs what sweating is to us, it is their cooling mechanism, and if you see your dog doing this, there is a high chance that they’re hot and need you to intervene. Certain breeds of dogs like Siberian Huskies or Bernese Mountain Dogs are not acclimated to warm conditions. These breeds are native to cold climates, so they have thick coats to insulate them and disallow their body warmth from escaping. Imagine walking around in 35-degree heat in a large winter coat. You will notice your thick-coated pooch panting excessively in hot temperatures, but this can happen with smaller, thin-coated brachycephalic dogs, otherwise known as flat-faced dogs. Because these breed’s airways are already stressed simply because of their bone structure, they will need to exert themselves even more than dogs with normally shaped snouts and are just as susceptible to overheating as dogs with big, thick coats. 

Another symptom of overheating is disorientation. 

  • Disorientation

Disorientation may occur if you have an overheating dog. The characteristics of disorientation generally make your dog seem confused and dazed. Although you may think it’s funny that your dog is repeatedly walking in circles for no apparent reason, it’s not. They’re overheating. Disorientated dogs tend to act like they have four left feet, and they might not even be able to stand up at all. These symptoms should ring alarm bells in your head and cause you to act immediately, as an overheating dog is susceptible to death. 

You may also notice that your dog is drooling lots more than usual, and their gums are far brighter than normal. 

  • Brightly coloured gums and excessive saliva

Have a look in your dog’s mouth. If you don’t want to because they’re slobbering excessively, that’s an external sign that your dog is overheating. However, if you continue and look inside their mouth, you may see that their gums look unnaturally bright red or blue. If this is the case, then your dog is losing oxygen and may be in the stages of heatstroke. Heatstroke can be fatal, so if you notice this symptom, you must take immediate action. 

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And finally, a symptom that you might not think of checking:

  • Poor skin elasticity

Your dog isn’t likely to bound around the garden when the temperature is high, just as you wouldn’t. But there’s a difference between your dog being miserable and dehydrating because they’re overheating. The best way to test this is by just lightly lifting their skin and investigating whether your dog’s skin is bouncing back as it should or whether it seems a bit slow and limp. If your dog’s skin looks like it is struggling to rebound, then your dog is dehydrated and you need to provide them with water immediately. 

There are things that you can do to avoid these eventualities, though, that include: 

  • Keeping your dog inside

This may seem obvious, but the belief that staying inside on a hot day could be worse than going outside isn’t unusual. However, by keeping your dog outside, you’re putting them at risk of sunstroke, which can be fatal. This risk is especially high for dogs with dark coats, as their colouring will absorb heat lots faster than dogs with lighter coats. If you’re unfortunate enough to be blessed with dark hair during the summer months and don’t have a hat, you have an idea of how it feels. 

  • Buying an air conditioner

The best way to keep your dog cool in the summer is to install air conditioning in your home, especially if you have a breed with a thick and large coat. For some reason, there is question as to whether it is safe for dogs to sit in air-conditioned spaces. But it is unclear where this misconception comes from, as the most humane and obvious thing you can do for your dog when they’re suffering through hot weather is to cool them down. You must check the minimum temperature that your dog can handle before adjusting your air conditioning. But aside from that, your dog will be completely safe.

  • Researching the temperature sensitivity of your breed 
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You may not have considered that different breeds of dogs have different temperature limits. For example, Labradors can comfortably handle up to 32-degree heat, but Pugs can only deal with 23 degrees. This is because, as mentioned above, certain breeds aren’t designed to live in warm environments. Knowing which temperatures are dangerous for your dog can help you plan ahead. 

  • Keeping your dog hydrated

Dogs can’t verbally let you know that they need water, so the best thing to do is to remember to make sure your dog always has access to cold water and change it out regularly to ensure that the water doesn’t get too warm. Some say that drinking hot drinks in the summer will cool you down, and in a roundabout way, this is true. But this is because when you drink hot drinks, your body is encouraged to sweat, which in theory should cool you down, but only really makes you sticky. As established, your dog doesn’t expel heat the same way you do, so if they’re drinking water that is anything but cold, they could be encouraged to pant more and exhaust themselves. 

  • Spraying your dog with a hose

This doesn’t mean drenching your overheating dog. You only need to spritz them with a hose or sprinkler, if they aren’t afraid of it. But, you must be careful when using this method, as the pressure from the hose might hurt your dog. 

  • Blowing up a kiddy pool

We put our feet and hands in cool water when it’s warm, so why wouldn’t your dog want the same experience? Your dog would probably enjoy laying down in a children’s pool (in the shade) and getting some much-needed cool-down time. You’ll get the best results from this if you buy a pool that won’t be easily pierced by nails, and make sure that it is out of the sun. Water can heat up surprisingly quickly when exposed to the sun and if it does, you will make your pooch hotter. 

We hope that you’ve learned something from this article and know at least one more tip on what to do to prevent your dog from overheating in high temperatures. 

 

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