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How to Tell If Your Dog is Overheated

Published on July 11th, 2019

Summer temperatures in the Chicago area are creeping into the 90s, and unlike humans, dogs are not able to sweat out their excess body heat. Unfortunately, this makes them prone to overheating. We should always be supplying our dog with plenty of cold drinking water and shade when they are out in the sun, but sometimes the unexpected happens. Use these helpful guidelines from our veterinarian in Chicago to recognize and treat heat exhaustion. 

Warning Signs

  • Excessive panting or hyperventilation 
  • Increased drooling 
  • Pale gums and bright red tongue
  • Glazed eyes 
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Confusion or dizziness 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 

How to Treat Your Dog

  • If you notice any warning signs, immediately take your dog to a cooler area with shade or indoor air conditioning. 
  • Take the temperature of your pet with a rectal thermometer. A dog typical becomes overheated with temperatures between 103 and 106 degrees, but your dog is at severe risk of heatstroke with anything over 106. 
  • Give your pup cold drinking water. 
  • Cool your dog off with water by putting wet towels on their neck, under armpits and between legs. Dipping in a cool lake or pool also works. Please note: Don’t use ice water or an ice bath. This will cause the blood vessels constricting which will prevent the dog from cooling off. 
  • Get your dog to our veterinarian in Chicago as soon as possible and call ahead so we can take immediate action when you get here.

The best heat exhaustion cure is prevention. Be careful not to overexert your dog in the heat and make sure you trim your pup’s thick coat in the summer. Contact our veterinarian in Chicago for more tips on how to beat the heat!

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