It’s going to be a hot summer!  Here are some tips on how to help your dog in the heat!

Dogs can’t sweat. They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively, become lethargic, appear confused, weak, and hyperventilate.  They may have bloodshot eyes, and dry or pale gums.  If you lift their skin, it will be slow to fall back into place- which is sign of dehydration. 

Different dogs have different needs when battling heat.  Darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats.  Overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration and overheating.  Brachiocephalic dogs (dogs with short noses, such as Pugs, English Bulldogs, King Charles Cavaliers, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzu’s, and Pekingese) are at higher risk of dehydration and overheating.

If you believe your dog has ovreheated, check the dog’s temperature every 5 minutes or so.  Normal body temperature is 99.5-102.5°F.  Moderate heating usually happens at around 103°F to 106°F.  Severe heating usually happens beyond 106°F.

Right after increased activity, you should never give dogs water in large amounts. Monitor their intake and do not let them keep running around.   Ice water can cause violent muscle spasms in the stomach, causing bloat (just like if you fall in a frozen pond, your muscles cramp, and that’s what happens to the stomach when the body temperature is so high). Only give normal cold water from the tap.  


  • Spray the paws and stomach (not just the top of the dog) with water.
  • Wrap a wet towel on the bottom of your dog. The inner thighs and armpits are also a good place for a wet towel. 
  • Call us at Granville Veterinary Cliinic for further instructions. Heat stroke stroke can be a life-threatening condition.