How To Tell If Your Dog Is Overheated

As a dog owner, it’s important to keep your furry friend safe and healthy. One of the most common issues that dogs face is overheating. This can be a serious problem, especially during the hot summer months. In this article, we’ll discuss how to tell if your dog is overheated and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

What Causes Dogs to Overheat?

Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting. When they’re too hot, they’ll pant more frequently to cool down. However, if the temperature is too high or if they’re not able to cool down properly, they can overheat. Some common causes of overheating include:

– Hot weather: Dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke in hot weather, particularly when humidity levels are high.
– Intense exercise: If your dog is exercising vigorously or for an extended period of time, they may become overheated.
– Obesity: Overweight dogs are more prone to overheating since they have more insulation and are less able to dissipate heat.
– Breathing difficulties: Dogs with respiratory problems such as brachycephalic breeds (e.g., bulldogs) are at higher risk of overheating.

Signs That Your Dog Is Overheated

It’s essential to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion in dogs so you can take action quickly. Some common signs include:

1. Heavy Panting

If your dog is panting excessively, particularly if it’s louder or heavier than usual, this could be a sign they’re struggling to regulate their body temperature.

2. Excessive Drooling

Dogs will often drool when they’re hot or thirsty, but excessive drooling could indicate something more serious.

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3. Lethargy

If your dog seems tired or lethargic and isn’t interested in playing or going for walks, it could be a sign that they’re too hot.

4. Rapid Heartbeat

If you notice your dog’s heart is beating faster than normal, it could be a sign they’re struggling to cool down.

5. Vomiting or Diarrhea

Heat exhaustion can sometimes cause vomiting or diarrhea in dogs, so if your pet experiences either of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek veterinary care right away.

What to Do if Your Dog Is Overheated

If you suspect your dog is overheating, there are several actions you can take to help them cool down and prevent heatstroke:

1. Move Them to a Cooler Environment

The first thing you should do is move your dog to a cooler environment. Bring them inside or find some shade outside and provide them with plenty of water.

2. Cool Them Down Gradually

You may be tempted to give your dog an ice bath or douse them in cold water, but this can actually make things worse. Instead, use cool (not cold) water and wet their fur gradually, starting at the feet and working your way up their body.

3. Offer Water

Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times. You can also offer them ice cubes or frozen treats to help keep them cool.

4. Seek Veterinary Care

If your dog’s condition doesn’t improve or if they exhibit any severe symptoms such as seizures, collapse, or unconsciousness, seek veterinary care immediately.

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Preventing Overheating in Dogs

Prevention is key when it comes to overheating in dogs. Here are some tips for keeping your furry friend safe and comfortable during hot weather:

1. Stay Hydrated

Make sure your dog has access to plenty of clean water at all times, both indoors and outdoors.

2. Avoid Peak Heat Times

Try to take walks early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s cooler outside.

3. Provide Shade

If you’re spending time outside with your dog, make sure they have access to shade and a cool, comfortable place to rest.

4. Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car

Even with the windows cracked, a car can quickly become too hot for your dog to handle. Never leave your dog in the car, even for a few minutes.

5. Monitor Exercise

Be mindful of how much exercise your dog is getting, particularly during hot weather. Make sure they have plenty of water breaks and take frequent rests.


Overheating in dogs can be a serious issue, but with the right knowledge and precautions, you can keep your furry friend safe and healthy. Be mindful of the signs of heat exhaustion, take action quickly if you notice any symptoms, and take steps to prevent overheating from occurring in the first place. With a little bit of care and attention, you can ensure that your dog stays happy and healthy all year round!