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The Danger Of Overheating In Dogs Dog Resting On The Beach

The danger of overheating in dogs

The danger of overheating in dogs

As the proud owner of your dog, it's important to be aware of the dangers of overheating that come with the hot weather. During these hot days, overheating is one of the biggest risks for dogs.

In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the danger of overheating in dogs and why taking precautions is critical to protecting their health.

What is Overheating in Dogs?

Overheating literally means that the body has become too hot. In dogs, overheating occurs when their body temperature rises to a dangerously high level. When the temperature has risen too high, a dog is no longer able to effectively dissipate excess heat. Overheating can cause serious health problems such as dehydration, heat stress, organ failure and, in extreme cases, even death.

The Danger Of Overheating In Dogs Dog Cooling Down By Panting 1

What Happens in the Dog's Body During Overheating?

During overheating, a dog's body goes through several changes and reactions due to the excessively high body temperature. Overheating can negatively affect the normal functioning of organs, such as the liver, kidneys and heart.

Most of the cells in your dog's body are mainly made up of protein. When the body temperature rises to 40,5 degrees Celsius or higher, these proteins can solidify, leading to irreversible consequences. This can result in organ failure and serious health complications due to the high body temperature. In extreme cases, this increase in body temperature can even be fatal for your dog.

The Danger Of Overheating In Dogs Panting Dog

How do dogs lose their heat?

Dogs don't have sweat glands, so they can't cool down by sweating in the same way we do. In addition, dogs have a warm (under) coat, which means that the summer months can be tough and even dangerous for them. Instead of sweating, dogs regulate their body temperature by panting. This is the main way they can dissipate heat. Only a small portion of the heat is also released through the ears, but this is negligible compared to panting.

What Are Causes of Overheating in Dogs?

Overheating in dogs can be due to various causes, we have listed them for you.

High temperatures and insufficient shade: Being exposed to extreme heat for too long, a lack of shade and insufficient ventilation during the summer days can quickly lead to your dog overheating.

Shortness of breath due to breed-specific characteristics: Some dog breeds are more sensitive to overheating than others. Shorter-faced breeds such as English and French Bulldogs, Boxers, and Pugs have narrowed airways.
With the hot weather, these dogs have more difficulty with heat dissipation due to their limited
breathing capabilities.

Excessive exercise in hot weather: If your dog is exercising too much, such as running, playing or exercising during the hotter hours of the day, his body temperature can rise quickly, which can lead to overheating.

A thick coat during hot weather: Dogs with thick fur often struggle in hot weather, but this luscious coat also has an insulating effect. However, shaving your dog's hair can lead to the removal of its natural protection against weather influences, causing your dog to warm up faster and more.

A dog left in the car: We all know the news stories that come by every summer about dogs that have died because they were left behind in the car. It is absolutely unacceptable to leave your dog in a car during hot weather.  

Even at moderate outside temperatures, the temperature inside a car can rise dramatically within minutes. This is due to the greenhouse effect, where the sun's rays penetrate the car and trap the heat inside. Even with the windows ajar, the temperature can quickly become dangerously high. A parked car often doesn't provide enough ventilation for your dog to get fresh air. Even with the windows partially open, it's not enough to guarantee the airflow needed to keep your dog cool.

It is your responsibility as a dog owner to ensure the safety and well-being of your dog. Therefore, never, under any circumstances, leave your dog in a car during hot weather.

The Danger Of Overheating In Dogs Dog Hanging Out The Car Window

What Are the Symptoms of Overheating in Dogs?

It is important to act quickly if you notice one or more of the following symptoms in your dog. Overheating can quickly lead to serious health problems, so it's essential to cool your dog down, move him to a cool environment and get veterinary attention as soon as possible.

  1. Excessive panting and difficulty breathing
  2. Excessive drooling and salivation
  3. Elevated body temperature above 40 degrees Celsius
  4. Red colored gums and tongue
  5. Lethargy and weakness
  6. Vomiting and diarrhea
  7. Coordination problems and dizziness
  8. Decreased appetite

How can you prevent overheating in your dog?

Now that we know the danger of overheating in dogs, and we can recognize the symptoms. So how can we make sure they don't overheat? By taking preventative measures and paying extra attention to your dog's needs during hot weather, you can help prevent overheating.

  1. Provide adequate shade and ventilation: Make sure your dog always has access to
    shady areas, especially during hot spells. Make sure there is good ventilation
    an air flow is to dissipate the heat.
  2. Limit physical activity during hot hours: Reduce strenuous activities during the hottest hours of the day. Plan your walks and play sessions early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
  3. Avoid hot surfaces: Hot pavement, sand or concrete surfaces can burn your dog's paws. Avoid walks on these surfaces during hot days or opt for protective dog shoes if necessary. Keep in mind that your dog also loses part of its heat through its soles.
  4. Provide enough water: Make sure your dog always has fresh, cool water within reach. Change the water regularly to keep it fresh and cool.
  5. Coat care: Brush your dog's coat regularly to remove dead hair and tangles. This helps promote better air circulation and helps prevent overheating. However, consider not shaving the coat too short, as this provides insulation from both heat and sun.
  6. Cooling measures: Of course we all want to make sure that our dogs get through the summer as safely and comfortably as possible. You can therefore give your dog a helping hand by means of a special cooling mat, cooling bands and harnesses, a nice dog swimming pool, cooling dog toys and snacks and of course fresh water from a water fountain.
The Danger Of Overheating In Dogs Cooling Mat For Dogs

Cooling products as refreshing solutions

With special cooling products for dogs, you can make overheating a thing of the past and keep your dog healthy and safe during hot weather. There is now an extensive range available cooling products especially for your dog, such as a dog pool, an cooling mat, an cooling belt and special water toys. There are also tasty ones cooling dog snacks with which you can easily dog ice creams makes. Whether you are looking for cooling or entertainment, we have the right cooling product to ensure that your dog gets through the summer safely.

How do you deal with an overheated dog?

Unfortunately, if your dog does overheat, it is very important to act quickly and effectively to protect his health.

Move your dog to a cool environment: Immediately take your dog to a cool and shaded area away from direct sunlight. This can be indoors with air conditioning or outdoors under a tree or in a well-ventilated area.
Lower body temperature: Wet your dog's coat with cool water. Use a wet towel or sponge to apply water to his belly, paws and head. Make sure the water isn't too cold to prevent your dog from getting a temperature shock.
Ventilation: Make sure there is sufficient air circulation in the area where your dog is. Use fans or create a breeze using a fan or an open window.
To water: Offer your dog small sips of cool water to prevent dehydration. However, don't force your dog to drink as this can lead to vomiting. Get him to drink water gradually.
Consult a veterinarian: Contact a vet as soon as possible, even if the symptoms of overheating seem to be abating. A vet can assess your dog's condition and recommend further treatment if necessary.

It's always better to precautionary actions to prevent your dog from overheating!! Also take into account the weather conditions and adjust your dog's activities accordingly.

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