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Why Dogs Overheat

Petmate Academy

July 21, 2021

There are many reasons why a dog's temperature may rise. It can be from something simple such as exercising, playing, or excitement. Other times, overheating can stem from something more serious, such as an infection.


What are some of the warning signs that your dog is overheating? Look for things such as quick panting, difficulty breathing, excessive salivating, and bright red membranes. These are initial signs that your dog is struggling to stay cool. They can quickly lead to more serious side effects of overheating such as dehydrating, vomiting, seizures, and possibly death. If you're noticing any of these signs or others such as thick saliva or their mouth turning gray or purple, bring your pet to an emergency clinic immediately so that they can get the help they need.

Keep in mind that certain dog breeds are more prone to overheating than others. Dogs with flatter noses and faces are at greater risk of overheating because their airways do not work as efficiently as other dog breeds.


Most times, overheating isn't an issue, but when your dog's temperature spikes above 102-degrees Fahrenheit, you need to help your pet cool down to prevent heat exhaustion. Dogs have fewer sweat glands than humans, so panting is the primary way that they cool down. They exhale their warm, moist air and inhale the cool, dry air around them.


These are the first two important things that you want to be sure you provide for your dog on hot days. Cool water is a necessity for keeping their airways at a good temperature, especially on hot days. At Petmate, we have a complete assortment of bowls, gravity waterers, and circulating water fountains to help keep your dog hydrated. Consider a Gen7Pets Cool-Air Cot Pet Bed for your dog to lounge on while outside.

a large dog resting outside on a Gen7Pets Cool Air Cot Dog Bed



Temperatures can rise quickly in cars, even if it's a cooler day or you leave the windows cracked open. Be on the safe side and take your dog with you whenever possible to avoid the risk of them overheating.


Just like how we don't love working out in the heat, dogs, understandably, aren't too fond of it either. If your dog needs a little exercise during a heatwave, keep your walks brief and make sure they stay hydrated.


Keeping your home cool during the day is especially important if you leave your dog at home alone. If you are leaving your dog in a crate or kennel, be sure to place it in a spot with plenty of ventilation and keep it out of the sun. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water too.


As stated earlier, certain dog breeds are more sensitive to the heat than others due to their size, bone structure, and fur. Consult your veterinarian about any questions you have regarding your dog's specific breed and be sure to pay careful attention if your pup is elderly or has any respiratory issues.


Here are a few ways that you can stay prepared for the heat and ensure that your dog stays healthy and cool in warmer temperatures.

  • Consider taking a Petmate Silicone Round Travel Bowl or Travel Bowl Duo wherever you go on warmer days. Be sure your bring a full water bottle as well if you're going to a park or place where you're not sure if water is available. Weather can change in the blink of an eye, and it can heat up quickly before you know it.
  • Have an extra set of car keys with you when traveling with your dog. This way, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to leave your dog in your car, you can leave the car running with the AC on. Only do this for a short amount of time, though, and leave a window cracked open as an added precaution.
  • Keep a spray bottle handy. If you suspect your dog is getting too hot, move them into a shaded area and spray their coat with cool water. Ice cold water can actually cause their temperature to rise, so be sure the water is only slightly cool.
  • Keep an electric fan handy. Consider getting a small, battery-operated one that is easy to bring along on trips.

Most importantly, be sure you're always observing your dog. Whether the weather is extremely hot or you're simply out for a long walk on a mild day, overheating can be a serious issue that can sneak up on you if you're not aware. Watch your dog for symptoms and be sure to bring along the proper gear.

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