Dogs and Overheating

It is very important for a dog's health and well-being to not overheat. Please do not leave your dog in a hot car while running errands, etc. Even just a few moments in a hot car can cause serious complications, including heat stroke! Extreme conditions can prove fatal!

Here are some warning signs of a dog overheating:

  • collapse
  • excessive panting
  • difficulty breathing
  • salivation
  • depression
  • stupor(acting intoxicated)
  • seizure
  • coma

Precautions to avoid heat-related symptoms are similar to humans: Drink plenty of water and stay cool. If a dog shows signs as listed above, immediately take action!

Get the dog away from the heat source.
Place cool, water-saturated towels on the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and feet.
Turn a fan on and point it at the dog.
Immediately take dog to the closest veterinarian.

There are also other actions that can help:

Spray dog with cool (NOT COLD, AS THIS MAY CAUSE DOG TO GO INTO SHOCK!) water from hose (make sure the hose is not hot if it has been in direct sunlight). Put a small amount of alcohol on the dog's paw pads (this evaporates and cools the dog)

If you consider using instant-cold packs, NEVER apply directly to the dog as getting too cold too fast can cause shock if the dog is suffering from a heat-related illness. ALWAYS place a damp towel between the ice pack and the dog.

To help keep your dog cool during the summer, consider ice cubes. Some dogs like to chew on ice, which helps to keep them cool and happy during hot weather months.

A dog that has previously suffered heat stroke is more susceptible to it in the future.

More particularly sensitive to problems in hot weather are brachycephalic dogs (dogs with shorter snouts) such as Shih Tzus, Pekinese, Bull Dogs, Boston Terriers, and Lhasa Apsos.