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Keep Your Pup Safe in the Heat: The Dangers of High Temperatures for Dogs

We had a lovely long and cool spring and now are smack in the middle of the hot summer temps. You may notice your pup panting and looking fatigued more quickly after being outside. As a pet owner, it can be alarming to see this behavior, but what you might not realize is that your dog may be experiencing heat exhaustion. High temperatures can pose serious risks to your dog's health.

Understanding the Risks

Dogs are unable to regulate their body temperature as efficiently as humans, making them more susceptible to heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses. When exposed to high temperatures, dogs are at risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even organ damage. Common signs of heat exhaustion include excessive panting, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. If left untreated, may develop a fever, lose consciousness, and experience seizures.

Does My Dog Have a Fever?

If you notice a significant change in your dog’s behavior this will be your first sign that your dog is not well. Keep a careful eye on your dog and take note of your dog's symptoms. Any combination of the following symptoms is a good indication that you should check your dog’s temperature. The most common symptoms of a fever in dogs are:

  • Red or glassy-looking eyes

  • Warm ears and/or nose

  • Shivering

  • Panting

  • Runny nose

  • Decreased energy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Coughing

  • Vomiting

If your dog has a fever, of 103° F or more, you can help to cool your dog’s body temperature by applying cool water with a soaked towel or cloth to your dog's ears and paws and running a fan near your dog. Stop applying the water when your dog’s temperature drops below 103° F. If your dog's fever hits 106°, or exhibits any other symptoms, such as shivering, panting, and vomiting you should take your dog to the urgent care or emergency vet.

Protection From the Heat

Protecting your dog from heat exhaustion is easier than you might think. It's important to keep them hydrated by providing them with plenty of water, especially during outdoor activities. You can also help your dog cool off by spraying them with water. Avoid walking them during the hottest parts of the day, and never leave them in a parked car for any length of time, as temperatures can quickly become unbearable even with the windows down.

Focus on Breeds

Some dog breeds are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses than others. Breeds with thick or double/triple coats (Huskys, Aussie Shephards or Newfies) or brachycephalic (short-nose) breeds (Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boxers) have a harder time breathing in hot and humid conditions. It's important to plan activities around a dog's breed and size, providing them with plenty of opportunities to rest and cool off.

Identifying the Early Warning Signs

Dog owners must monitor their pets closely for early warning signs of heat exhaustion. A dog exhibiting excessive panting, rapid-drying saliva, and signs of dehydration needs to be removed from the heat and cooled down immediately. Reduce their body temperature by soaking them in cold water or placing them in a bathtub with cool water.

Importance of Medical Attention

It's crucial to recognize the early signs but in the event that your pup is experiencing more severe symptoms like a seizure, unconsciousness, or high fever, it's vital to bring them to the vet immediately. Heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses can be fatal if left untreated.


It's vital that every pet owner is aware of the severe risks associated with heat exposure for dogs. With continued education, awareness, and preventive care, we can help our dogs stay safe and comfortable all summer long. Remember, the key to preventing heat exhaustion is to be proactive in protecting , monitoring them closely, and seeking medical attention if necessary. Keep your pooch safe from the heat and enjoy a worry-free summer together!

Note:The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.

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