In Canada our winters are long, and our summers feel way too short. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t get to enjoy some great summer weather and outdoor adventures with our dogs. In some parts of the country, summer can bring blistering temps for our furry friends. If you live in a hot area, then you should know how to tell if your dog is overheating and how to cool down your dog.
Fun in the sun means lots of outside adventures. For your dog, that fun can quickly change to danger if you don’t understand how well they can tolerate the hot temps. It is vital to know how to cool down your dog when they’re overheating.
Even indoor temps can climb, so be aware of how the temperature in your house, your car, and outside are affecting your dog. In this blog, we’ll tell you what you need to know about how dogs cool off. Read on to learn how to look for symptoms of your dog overheating and act quickly to keep him safe!
How Do Dogs Cool Down?
Dogs have two physiological mechanisms that help them cool down: panting and sweating.
Panting works by circulating cool air into the body, lowering the temperature, and moving oxygen through the bloodstream. When dogs pant, they take rapid breaths to ensure that the air they are taking in is as much cool air as possible. Panting is a natural way for your dog to lessen body heat.
Dogs can only sweat through the pads of their paws. As sweat is produced, it begins to evaporate, removing heat from your dog’s body and lowering their overall body temperature.
When temperatures are scorching hot and panting or sweating just doesn’t do the trick, your dog can be at risk of overheating.
What is Heat Stroke?
Heatstroke can happen when your dog’s body temperature is too high for them to be able to regulate on their own. This can lead to cell and organ damage, seizures, collapse, and eventually death if you don’t act quickly.
Many pet parents are unaware of how quickly and how commonly heat stroke in dogs occurs, a potentially fatal condition with a mortality rate of about 50%.
Usually, if you intervene at the first sign of dog overheating symptoms, you can prevent heat stroke or heat exhaustion, so it’s important to be able to identify symptoms and adopt safe warm weather practices to help prevent your dog from overheating.
Signs of Overheating in Dogs
Overheating can be a serious health concern for dogs, especially during the hot summer months. Here are some signs that your dog may be experiencing overheating:
- Panting excessively: Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting, but if they are panting more heavily or more frequently than usual, it may be a sign that they are struggling to cool down.
- Excessive drooling: Dogs may drool more when they are hot or stressed, so excessive drooling can be a sign that your dog is overheating.
- Red or pale gums: Overheating can cause changes in the color of your dog’s gums. If the gums are red or dark, it may be a sign of overheating. If they are pale or white, it could be a sign of shock.
- Lethargy or weakness: Overheating can cause your dog to become lethargic or weak, and they may have trouble standing or walking.
- Vomiting or diarrhea: These symptoms can be caused by a variety of health problems, but they can also be a sign of overheating in dogs.
- Rapid heartbeat: If your dog’s heart rate is faster than usual, it could be a sign that they are overheating.
If you suspect that your dog is overheating, it’s important to take immediate action to cool them down.
How To Cool Down a Dog that is Overheating?
Having a list of ways on how to cool down a dog should be on every pet owner’s “know-how”.
- Remove Them From the Heat
If you think that your dog is overheating, your first step is to get them out of the sun immediately. If you can, take them indoors and provide them with water and a cool place to lie down. Begin following some of the other tips, such as draping wet towels or soaking their coat, to further cool them down.
If you and your dog are out and about, carry them back to your car and crank up the air conditioning to start cooling them down. If possible, offer them water out of a collapsible water bowl.
- Find a Cool Surface
Take your pooch to an area that has a cool surface they can lay on. Anytime a dog lays down on a cold surface, their body heat transfers to that surface, allowing them to regulate their body temperature better. If you’re outdoors, look for a plot of grass beneath a canopy of trees, or a concrete slab sheltered from the sun.
- Invest in Cooling Products: Cool On TrackT
Cool On TrackTM dog products are designed to stay cold so that your dog doesn’t suffer from overheating during hot times of the year. Your dog can benefit significantly from:
Having a cool place to lie allows dogs to transfer their body heat to the product, resulting in better body temperature regulation. Make sure to refresh the cooling mat regularly with cold water as it will begin to warm up again.
Keeping your dog cool during hot weather is important to prevent overheating and heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition. You can remove your dog from heat, find a cool surface, or invest in cooling products like Cool On TrackTM. With these tips, you can ensure your furry friend stays comfortable and safe during summer adventures.
At Back On Track Canada, we are committed to lessening pain and discomfort in people and animals. To learn more about our products for dogs, visit our website and see why so many pet owners trust Back On Track Canada for their dog’s well-being. With our science-based products and dedication to customer satisfaction, you can feel confident you’re making the right choice for your furry family member.