10 Signs Your Dog is Overheated

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an adult golden labrador sitting in tall grass and dandelions

Your gorgeous and freshly groomed pup is running around in the dog park. Frolicking with the best of them and having a great time with the other dogs. Even though it’s hot out, it’s a great day…until you notice your pup in the shade of a tree off to the side. 

What could be going on? Maybe they found something to sniff and investigate, or they really want to mark some new territory. But while those are possibilities, it’s important to keep overheating in mind as you check on your pup. 

Here are 10 signs your dog might be overheated and what to keep an eye out for:

1. Seeking Shade

While your pup might just want to relax under a tree, if they are constantly trying to stay in a shady spot or seeking a cold spot on the concrete, they are trying to escape the heat.

2. Excessive Panting

You know your dog best and if you notice they’re panting more than normal even after they’ve stopped playing, it could be a sign that they’re unable to regulate their body temperature. 

3. Won’t Eat

Not eating a delicious treat? Turning away from it when they would usually be so excited for a little reward is another possible sign.

4. Hot to the Touch

Dogs usually have a temperature ranging from 100 to 102.5 degrees (that’s another reason why they’re so nice to cuddle), but if they feel too hot to the touch, it would be best to take their temperature once they’re in a cooler spot. 

5. Drinking Water in Excess

If you put out a cold bowl of water for your pup and you’ve never seen them lap up the water that fast, it may be an indicator of dehydration and their inability to regulate their temperature as usual.

Not only that, but no amount of water seems to quench their thirst. If you also notice that they aren’t peeing after drinking so much water, it could be an indication that they’re already dehydrated.

6. Rapid Pulse

Since a dog’s pulse can vary depending on their size and breed type, it’s important to know what the norm is for your pup. Knowing their baseline will help you know when someone is amiss. 

7. Skin Elasticity

Again, another red flag of dehydration or overheating to be familiar with is your dog’s skin elasticity. When they’re hydrated, “gently hold some of the dog’s skin near their shoulder blades, raise it up, and then let it go. Watch carefully as it falls back into place.” If it springs back to its original position, that’s a sign your dog is hydrated. But if it doesn’t and the skin holds the position for much longer, it’s a sign of dehydration. 

8. Confused and Disoriented

If you’ve ever been dehydrated you can certainly sympathize with your pet if they become confused and disoriented from the heat. 

9. Abnormally Aggressive

Another factor to remember is that if your pup is confused and disoriented, it could lead to an increased fear response resulting in aggression you’d normally never see from them. While you love your pup and they love you, be aware that in their confusion they might act out in an unexpected way.

10. GI Issues like Vomiting or Diarrhea

If your pup is vomiting and diarrhea is occurring, it might be too late to try certain methods of cooling them down and you’ll need to go to a veterinarian immediately. 

If you suspect your pup is overheated, you’ll want to bring them to a cooler spot and wet them with cool water. But not ice cold because a rapid temperature change could be dangerous. 

In the event that their symptoms continue even after attempting to cool them off, you’ll want to call your veterinarian and let them know you believe your pup has overheated. They can provide further guidance on how to cool your pet off, or recommend that you come to their office directly.