How to know if my dog is hot?
With the arrival of high temperatures, our dogs will also feel hot and we must be attentive to their well-being to avoid problems derived from the rise in their body temperature, which can be as serious as heat stroke, potentially fatal. This is what happens when, due to misinformation, the dog is left locked in the car, for example, or taken for a walk at the wrong time.
What is the normal temperature of a dog?
The normal temperature of dogs is about 37.8-39.2 ºC , therefore we should not take human parameters as a reference. In addition to this information, we must also take into account considerations such as the following:
- Dog hair serves as protection against the sun and as a temperature regulator, so shaving it is not recommended and it may be counterproductive to cut it in some breeds. If we have doubts, it is best to always consult a dog groomer.
- Dogs can’t sweat like people do, so they regulate their temperature mostly through panting. Thus, they bear heat worse than us because when the ambient temperature approaches body temperature, cooling through panting is not as effective. For more information see » How Dogs Sweat «.
- We must be especially careful with the heat if our specimen is a puppy, an elderly dog, has some disease, is obese or overweight, or belongs to one of the brachycephalic dog breeds , as they have more breathing difficulties.
Symptoms of a dog with heat
When a dog is hot, it will show it through different signs. These are the ones that have to put us on alert:
- Reduced activity . A dog that feels hot tends to slow down his movements. Thus, it is normal for us to see it lying down, stretched out directly on the ground, or in covered and shady areas.
- Breathing will be characterized by panting , more or less intense, with the tongue out of the mouth. Panting also occurs when the dog is overheated after doing some considerable physical activity.
- Reddened mucous membranes , which we can easily appreciate, since, by keeping our mouths open, we will easily see the gums and tongue.
Observing any of these behaviors or signs in our dog tells us that it is overheated, so we will have to act to provide it with a cool space as soon as possible. Do not forget that excess heat capable of raising your body temperature above normal is potentially dangerous.
How does heat affect dogs?
Once we have learned to identify if a dog is hot, we will discuss the consequences of an excess of temperature, which can occur if a hot dog does not have the possibility to cool down. Thus, when the body temperature rises to 40-43 ºC , the dog runs the risk of suffering heat stroke , which is a disorder that can lead to death. It produces symptoms such as the following:
- Very red mucosa.
- Intense gasps.
- thick saliva
- breathing difficulties
- Shock , convulsions and death in the most severe cases.
It is a veterinary emergency. The first measure is to try to lower the dog’s temperature and stabilize it, although, even so, heat stroke, unfortunately, causes the death of a large number of dogs, so it is important to pay prompt attention and adopt measures such as those We will see in the next section to prevent it.
What to do if my dog is hot?
As we have explained, if our dog is hot and does not have the ability to thermoregulate efficiently, he may be in trouble. Therefore, if we notice that it is hot or, although it appears to be fine, it is very hot, it is convenient that we take into account measures such as the following so that the consequences of heat in dogs are not fatal:
- Never leave a dog locked in a car or in a place that can reach high temperatures in a short time.
- You have to have fresh and clean water at all times .
- In the same way, it must be able to take shelter under a good shade .
- Do not walk him or allow him to do any intense physical activity in the hottest hours.
- Cool it by wetting it with a spray bottle or by passing a very damp towel over its body.
- If you have a suitable place, offer him a basin or a pool with water so that he can cool off to his liking.
- Giving ice cubes is another good option with which the dog is entertained while cooling down.
- Homemade ice creams for dogs are also ideal for this function, as well as allowing us to offer them a natural and healthy food that rewards them while complementing their diet.
- Lower the temperature in the house by using fans if you don’t have air conditioning.
- Don’t forget to pay special attention to younger, sick, older or overweight dogs.
- If your dog continues to get overheated, see your vet.