Precautions for summer – over heating in dogs

by Girish
(kalyan, India)

The summer time started in Asia Pacific Region.

The temperature during normal day to rise up to 45 degrees +/-

please do provide the precautions what can be taken to safeguard the pup during this period.

few concerns

1) chicken meat in food – need to avoid ? as it’s part of heating

2) Walking in sun – strictly to be avoided.

3) Ice cubes – wiping with cold towels ! head and body

4) what are the symptoms of overheating ? restlessness and bleeding from nose ?

will be great if you can provide a list of precaution or a thread specifically for precaution during summer period considering the temperature rise experienced in places like India.


Hi Girish
Dogs are definitely at risk of heat stroke, or other heat-related complications, when the weather gets that hot – especially if it’s also humid. Rottweilers are one of the breeds who are especially susceptible to these due to their size and color.

A dog’s normal temperature is anywhere between 100F and 102F. A temp. of over 103 is too high, and over 106 is extremely dangerous. There are a lot of things you can do to reduce the risks of over-heating or heat-stroke in dogs, including…

  • a) Making sure your dog has plenty of shade ALL day, it can be too hot even early in the morning, or late in the evening.
  • b) Keep your dog in a grassy area rather than on concrete or asphalt which heats up quickly and also reflects and magnifies the sun/heat.
  • c) Having access to cool, fresh water at all times
  • d) No strenuous exercise when it’s really hot, walking or playing should be done really early, or really late in the day. Playtimes can be taken indoors where there is a fan or air-conditioning and even then go easy.
  • e) Don’t use a muzzle
  • f) If possible provide a source of water for your dog to actually GET into… if you don’t have a swimming pool, a child’s wading/paddling pool works well.

The symptoms of over heating in dogs can be varied, and not all dogs will show all of the symptoms (or the same ones). It can also develop and progress very quickly. Here are some of the most common signs of canine heat-stroke…

  • a) Excessive or rapid panting
  • b) Lethargy, loss of balance or disorientation
  • c) Excessive salivation – this may be thicker than normal
  • d) Diarrhea or vomiting which may contain traces of blood.
  • e) Seizures or collapse

Heat stroke is very serious, and a severe case can result in organ failure and death. As soon as you suspect your dog is over-heated it’s vital to get him out of the heat and start to cool and hydrate him.

However, trying to get him to drink icy water or reducing his temp too quickly can also cause problems. The best thing to do is to get your dog indoors where it’s air conditioned, or at the very least into the shade and provide a fan to circulate the air. Wetting him down with cool (or cold but not icy) water is the first step and you can use a garden hose, or simply pour water on him. Using rubbing alcohol (aka isopropy alcohol) on the paw pads and under the ‘armpits’ and groin area also helps. If he will drink offer cool water or a electrolyte-solution such as Pedialyte and water.

Other than that there isn’t much that an owner can do and it’s absolutely vital to get the dog to a veterinarian as soon as you’ve taken the above steps. A very high internal temperature can cause multiple organ failure, seizures and death, and only a veterinarian can provide more sophisticated cooling options and try to prevent this from happening.

Take the initial steps to cool your dog, but don’t waste time after that, get straight to your own vet or an emergency animal clinic and call ahead to let them know the situation and that you’re bringing in a dog with heatstroke.

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