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5 Signs Your Puppy is Overheated

Learn the signs that your puppy is overheated by reading this informative article. The summer is fast approaching. As the days grow longer and hotter, an abundance of fun outdoor activities emerge. But for those of you who have recently taken a puppy into your life. And for anyone who’s considering doing so. The hot […]

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Learn the signs that your puppy is overheated by reading this informative article. The summer is fast approaching. As the days grow longer and hotter, an abundance of fun outdoor activities emerge. But for those of you who have recently taken a puppy into your life. And for anyone who’s considering doing so. The hot summer months pose a unique danger to puppies and all pets—overheating. 


Whether at home, in your car, or outside at the park, beach, or pool, the risk that your puppy is overheated could become present. That’s why it’s important to know how to prevent your puppy from overheating. And be able to recognize the warning signs if your puppy begins to overheat. 


In this article, we will lay out all the information you need to keep your new puppy comfortable this summer. 


A long haired Chihuahua sits on a beach wearing sunglasses.

WHY DO DOGS & DOMESTIC ANIMALS OVERHEAT?


Unlike humans, dogs and other domestic animals are incapable of sweating. The biology of human beings has a specific, fast, and highly effective method of preventing environmental overheating. We sweat. As we sweat, heat pulls out of our bodies in the form of water. And as this sweat-water cools and evaporates off of our skin, we cool down internally. A breeze from a fan or natural wind helps to cool our temperature down faster. The biology of dogs does not include this system despite the fact that dogs do have a few sweat glands.


Instead of sweating like humans, dogs pant. Panting, which is heavy and fast breathing, serves to rid the dog’s body of heat via exhalation. The dog exhales body heat and inhales air. And this must be cooler than the dog’s internal temperature in order for this method to succeed. 


When a dog remains in a hot apartment, for example. And inhales hot air as he pants, he won’t be able to properly cool off. This can quickly lead to your puppy overheating, which can be fatal in dogs and puppies. 


WHERE ARE DOGS MOST LIKELY TO OVERHEAT?


The fast, straightforward answer to this question is, whenever you aren’t with them. More often than not, dogs suffer the worst danger of overheating when they sit all by themselves. When they are in the company of their owners, the owners, if educated, will recognize the early warning signs of overheating. And know when their puppy is overheated. And do something to cool their dog before he truly becomes overheated. 


A long haired Chihuahua pants in a car while waiting for its owner on a hot summer's day.

Be aware that your puppy is overheated if the following scenarios occur:


SIGNS YOUR PUPPY IS OVERHEATING


During outdoor activity, dogs pant when exercising and when it’s warm and hot out. Panting shouldn’t automatically be a cause for concern. But with regard to your puppy, we recommend that if you notice your puppy panting, you drop everything to cool and calm him down. Your puppy is overheated! The reason for this is that puppies overheat much easier than adult dogs.


A cute Golden Retriever takes a nap on his upside down water bowl during a summer afternoon.

The early warning signs that your puppy is overheated include:


Heavy panting

Salivation, or for “drooling” breeds extreme salivation

Bright-red membranes (nose, tongue, gums)

Labored breathing

Lethargy


If you notice any of these warning signs, you should take your puppy to the emergency vet right away. And in the meantime, cool him down by wetting him with cool (never cold) water. Encourage him to drink cool water. And of course, get him into the cold air conditioning of your car (assuming that you will be driving him to the vet). It’s important not to wet or submerge your dog into cold water. Doing so will cause “rapid cooling,” i.e. cooling down too fast can be dangerous if not fatal! 


Early Warning Signs to Watch For


Far more likely to die from overheating than dogs, puppies run a higher risk. We strongly recommend that you act fast when you recognize these early warning signs. Doing so will help prevent your puppy from becoming text-book overheated.


The biggest early warning sign is panting. While you wouldn’t want to overreact if you observe your puppy panting during or after play, the fact of the matter is that if it’s a hot day and your puppy is in a warm or hot environment and he starts panting, then you should quickly cool down the environment or bring him into a cool environment. By doing this, you can avoid overheating and a trip to the vet. 


Another early warning sign is if your puppy feels “too hot” to the touch. If you’ve had your puppy for a few weeks or a few months, you’ve probably gotten a good idea of his body temperature. If he’s outside on a hot day. And the soft skin of his belly feels too warm or too hot. Then you should move him to a cool location and monitor his temperature to ensure that he cools down.


In short, the early warning signs to look out for are:


Panting

Being “too hot” to the touch


A smiling black Labrador Retriever puppy lays in the green grass.

HOW TO PREVENT YOUR PUPPY FROM OVERHEATING


Preventing your puppy from overheating in the first place is all about keeping him in a cool environment in the first place. And making sure he has access to cool, fresh water at all times. The following are more specific instructions to be aware of: 



From everyone at Petland Kansas City, we hope you and your new puppy have a fun, safe summer! Are you looking to add a new furry friend to your family? If you’re in the Kansas City area, we invite you to stop in our pet store to meet the new arrivals and speak with our pet counselors about the best breeds for your lifestyle, home, and family!

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