Preventing Overheating Dogs – Hyperthermia

Heatstroke is when the normal bodily mechanism fails to keep the dogs temperature within a safe range. Some dogs have short noses and oversized heads like Boston Terriers. This makes them especially susceptible to overheating.

The best step is prevention.

  • Provide water at all times. And change the water often. Fresh water is important.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a parked car when the outside temperature is over 70 degrees. The temperature inside a parked car can easily reach over 140 degrees in less than 15 minutes.

  • Do not place a muzzle on your dog. This prevents them from effectively panting. And panting is how a dog cools off since they cannot sweat.

  • Never exercise on a hot day.

  • Avoid paved areas where the heat is reflected and there is no shade.

  • Carry a towel with you when you are outside with your dog on a warmer day. Wet the towel down with cold water and place it around the dog’s back to cool them off.

  • Avoid the beach. The sand is reflective and has no shade.

  • If your dog has a previous health condition such as obesity, heart disease, is an older dogs, or has breathing problems, keep them in the shade on warmer days. Normal walks can easily overheat a sick dog.

  • Keep your dog in an air-conditioned house if possible. Fans will also keep your dog cooler.

If your dog becomes overheated, take them to the veterinary immediately. Place a cool damp towel on them and give them something to drink (if they are still conscious) while enroute. Turn the air conditioner on high in your car for transport to the vet.