7 Signs Your Dog Is Overheated & Needs You To Act

Now the summer has arrived it’s hard not to want to be outside as much as possible. As much fun as it is to enjoy the outdoors in the summertime, warm weather can be dangerous or even deadly for your dog.

If you plan to take your pooch out and about with you when it's hot outside, you should definitely learn the signs that your dog is overheated, as well as how to help them. It's not always obvious if your furry friend needs your help, so being as prepared as possible is step one in making sure everyone has a great time playing outside.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the summer months can make your dog miserable. If the weather outside feels hot to you, it definitely feels even hotter to your dog. To prevent overheating, the association recommends you not take your dog outside during the hottest times of the day, allow access to shade and cool water, and ask your veterinarian if you should give your pooch a summer haircut to help them beat the heat. The American Veterinary Medical Association also reminds pet owners to never leave a dog unattended in a vehicle, as temperatures can reach unsafe levels in a matter of minutes.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion can come on quickly and be deadly if left untreated. Dogs can have a tendency to overdo things to the point of heat exhaustion in the summer, so you should watch your pet for signs of overheating like collapsing, fast breathing, red or blue gums, and vomiting. If your dog gets overheated move them to a cool place, let them drink small amounts of water, and applying ice packs or cool water. As always, call your veterinarian if you think they need medical attention or their condition doesn't improve.

For more on these and other signs your dog is overheated, and what to do if it happens, read on:

Loss Of Consciousness

If your dog passes out in the sun it's time to seek medical attention immediately, warns the Humane Society of the United States. A loss of consciousness is a sign of heatstroke in dogs, which can be deadly.


Panting is how dogs cool off. One sign of overheating in dogs is fast, noisy breathing or panting. Some breeds of dogs with short muzzles like pugs can have a particularly tough time in the summer, so if your dog snorts, breathes heavy, or pants in the heat or during your daily walk, it might be time to chill out in the shade.


Dogs don't know their own limits when it comes to fun in the sun, so they will run until they collapse, and by then it might be too late. Make sure that your dog gets frequent breaks inside or in the shade, with plenty of water to drink to avoid overheating.


While your dog might normally have a drooling problem, excessive drooling after being outside or exercising in the summer might be a sign your dog is overheating.


According to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, one sign of overheating in dogs is vomiting. If your dog is vomiting after being outside in the summer heat, dehydration can occur. Dogingtonpost.com recommends offering your dog small amounts of water and calling your veterinarian right away to seek treatment.


Your dog getting dehydrated can be particularly dangerous in the summer months. Sunken eyes, a dry nose, and dry mouth can all be signs of dehydration. If your dog is dehydrated, check with your veterinarian to see if you should offer them water or a mixture of water and Pedialyte to help them rehydrate.

Red Or Blue Gums

According to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, an overheated dog might have red or blue gums or tongue. If your dog shows these signs, take them inside right away.

What to Do if Your Dog Is Overheated

At the first sign of overheating, immediately take action to cool down your dog. Vetstreet recommends the following steps to treat heat exhaustion in dogs:

  1. Immediately move your dog to a cooler area, either indoors where there is air conditioning or in the shade under a fan.
  2. Use a rectal thermometer to check his temperature. Heat exhaustion typically occurs when a dog's temperature falls between 103 and 106 degrees. A temperature above 106 places him at risk for heat stroke. If he's in the danger zone, call your veterinarian.
  3. If you're near a body of fresh water, such as a lake or a baby pool, let your dog take a dip to cool down. Otherwise, you can use cool, wet cloths or towels to help him out. Place your cool wet cloths on his neck, armpits, and between his hind legs, and you can also gently wet his ears and paw pads with cool water.
  4. If he's conscious and willing to drink, give him cool, fresh water. Don't force it, however, as it may end up in his lungs. If he can't or won't drink, or can't keep water down, wet his tongue with water instead. Don't feed him ice cubes, which could cause his temperature to drop too quickly, leading to shock.
  5. Get him to the vet. If you haven't already done so, call ahead so they can be ready to take immediate action as soon as you arrive.

To learn more, check out these resources from:
American Kennel Club
The Humane Society of the United States
The Dogington Post

Original article by Steph Montgomery in Romper.com