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Signs of an Overheating Dog and What You Can Do About It

Just before summer began, I wrote a post about how to keep your dog cool while outdoors during the summertime. You can read that post here:

I thought now was an appropriate time to expand on that post since temperatures are soaring and many of us are experiencing record high temperatures. Dogs, especially brachycephalic breeds, can overheat very easily so I wanted to help other dog parents by listing the symptoms of overheating and by letting you know what to do if your dog does overheat.

What are the symptoms of a dog overheating?

There are many symptoms to alert you that your dog is overheating. They may include one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing and/or excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Lack of urination
  • Fast and/or irregular heartbeat
  • Disorientation
  • Discolored gums
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Collapsing

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to act fast. Don’t know what to do? Read on.

What to Do for an Overheating Dog

  1. If you can get the dog indoors to a cool place, do that right away. If not, a car can work if the air conditioner is on.
  2. Wipe the dog down with cool wet towels paying particular attention to their paws, neck, and armpits.
  3. Call your veterinarian and have him or her on notice that you will be bringing your dog in shortly. Make them aware of the situation (give details) so they may respond appropriately.
  4. Give your dog water to drink but don’t force them to drink. If they will not drink, you can wet the area around their mouth. You may also ring water into their mouth with a wet towel.
  5. Avoid rubbing ice cubes on your dog as this may cause their temperature to change TOO rapidly. Continue to wipe them down with a cool wet towel until all symptoms subside or you bring them to your veterinarian.

I have read all too many stories of dogs, French Bulldogs in particular, overheating lately. I hope you never have to respond to a situation like this. However, if you do, I hope this post helps. Remember to read my post about keeping your dog cool so you don’t have to encounter a potentially fatal overheating situation.

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