How do I know if my dog is overheating? It’s a question we hear quite often here at Leesville. We might be headed headlong in to fall, but here in North Carolina it’s still quite warm outside and that warmth combined with high humidity increases the risk of your dog overheating! Today here on the Leesville Animal Hospital Blog we want to talk about some of the signs that can tell you that your dog is overheating!
How Can I Tell if My Dog is Overheating?
There are quite a few ways that your dog will let you know that they are overheating, of course as a dog owner you want to try to avoid seeing these signs in the first place! The best way to do this is to use your common sense, if it is too hot for you to walk outside, it is too hot for your pup. If the sidewalk is too hot to walk on, it’s too hot for your pup. Sometimes, however, we can misjudge just how hot it is outside and our dogs end up suffering from overheating. What are signs that your dog is becoming overheated?
- An overheated dog will appear to have a very wide mouth – think Batman’s Joker. A wide smile is your dogs way of cranking up their air conditioning to cool down. If your dog has a wide open mouth and is panting hard then you can bet that he is too hot!
- Keep looking at your dog’s mouth, because an overheating dog will have that tongue out as far as he can get it! A long tongue is a means of cooling down for your dog and if you can see their tongue hanging over those teeth then your dog is too hot!
- Keep focused on that tongue! An overheated dog will not only have a long tongue, but it will be flat as well. Flattening of the tongue creates more surface area for cooling. If your dog has a flat wide tongue hanging out of his mouth then he is too hot!
- Yup, we’re looking at that tongue again! Is your dog’s tongue darker in color than it’s usual pinkish color? As your dog tries to cool down more blood goes to his tongue and causes it to darken in color.
- Is your dog panting very quickly? Along with the signs above, this could be a sign that your dog is overheated! It could also be a sign that your dog is in pain or anxious so use your common sense as you read your dog’s body language!