It’s the dog days of summer, and we know that if we are feeling the effects, our furry friends are as well! That’s why we’re sharing five signs of overheating and how to cool down your dog this summer so that they can stay safe, happy, and be their most tail-waggin-est self!
5 Signs of An Overheated Dog
Just like humans, dogs are capable of getting too much sun. There are a few telling signs that your pup is suffering from heat exhaustion and needs to cool down as soon as possible.
Though some pups naturally breathe a bit loud, an overheated dog will begin panting heavily in an attempt to cool down. If you notice your furry friend hyperventilating, they could be trying to let you know that the summer sun has become too much for them.
Dogs may collapse for a variety of health reasons, including too much heat. Move your trusty companion inside and give them plenty of water to cool them down after they’ve collapsed. If the problem persists after you’ve attempted to cool your dog down, seek immediate medical attention.
Vomiting or Diarrhea
Severe vomiting or diarrhea is the number one indicator that your pup is overheating and becoming dehydrated. In this situation, the first thing to do is find water for your dog. Both of these forms of heat exhaustion can lead to increased dehydration and a more severe consequence of too much heat.
When your dog becomes too warm, disorientation may set in. Once you notice your dog beginning to fall over frequently or struggle to stand, it’s time to move to a shadier spot and do what you can to cool them off. Rapid eye movement back and forth may also be a strong signal that heat exhaustion is setting in.
It’s not uncommon for dogs to drool, but an overheated dog will produce a higher level of drool or exceptionally sticky drool. The thick drool is a warning sign that your dog is getting too much sun and needs a moment to cool back down.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer
Heat exhaustion is no joke, so you’ll want to be prepared with the best tips and techniques for keeping your dog cool all summer long. Read on to learn a few simple ways to cool your dog down in the summer heat.
1. Stay Hydrated!
Humans aren’t the only ones who can get dehydrated. Make sure your dog always has access to clean, fresh water to help cool down. If you’re going out for a hike, walk, or adventure, make sure that you pack plenty of water, not just for yourself but your pup too!
2. Plan Your Walks
Black pavement (or asphalt) can get very hot and can harm your pet’s paws (& you may not even realize it!) Imagine walking barefoot on a sidewalk in the middle of summer — ouch! To keep your furry friend safe and cool, try the following for your walks:
- Schedule your walks early in the morning before the sun hits the pavement or at night as the sun is setting. Be sure to wear reflective gear to keep you and your pup safe!
- Pick up some booties to protect your dog’s paws.
- Walk in shaded areas — wooded trails, hiking paths, etc.!
Keeping your puppy’s paws protected is a key way to keep your dog cool in the summer!
3. Be Aware Of Heatstroke
Heatstroke is by far the most upsetting summertime emergency veterinarians see in the summer. If not treated quickly enough, this devastating complication can result in death. Heatstroke is a condition caused by the body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. Imagine wearing a fur coat during the summer and sitting outside for an hour or so. That is what it is like for our pets. We’ve got plenty of resources for knowing how to cool down your dog, so make sure you read up before you head out into the heat!
4. Give Your Pet Cooling Foods
Specific cooling ingredients can help your pet combat the summer heat and most can be found right in your fridge. Check to see what kind of protein and ingredients your pet is eating in their regular food. A whole food diet is a great way to begin to add cooling elements to your pet’s meals — it doesn’t have to be all or nothing! Just replacing 25% of their food with real, whole food ingredients or high-quality freeze dried food can greatly benefit their overall health. Transition cooling foods into your furry friend’s diet to help keep them cool in the summer.
5. And Finally, Avoid Warming Foods!
The last thing we would want for dogs who are running warm is to have them eating chicken or turkey, which are classified as warming proteins. Why? Because these will exacerbate the problems. Instead, try a diet with cooling ingredients, like rabbit or pork, to help nourish and heal ailments and promote overall wellness and health. When trying to figure out how to cool down your dog, stick with cooling foods during the summer heat!
If you’re not sure where to start with your dog’s diet needs, take our online pet assessment to understand your pet’s health profile. By answering a few simple questions, our experts will help you understand exactly what your dog needs to thrive!
Now that you know how to cool down your dog this summer, you’re ready to tackle the heat! Stay cool, friends!