While cute, a bell shaped tongue is a sign of overheating in your dog.

It’s the summer, yay! However, dog owners are faced with a difficult dilemma during this season:

On one hand, it’s absolutely vital that your dog gets outside to socialize with other dogs and humans. On the other hand, soaring summer temperatures cause dogs to become overheated rapidly.

Here’s our guide for how to handle the heat this summer.

Be Aware Of Your Dog’s Potential To Overheat

Certain dogs are at a much higher risk for overheating, and it can happen quickly if you’re not careful. These types of dogs must be monitored closely and their exercise and exposure must be regulated accordingly:

Even in the shade, dogs can easily overheat. Being obese or older increases the risk for heat stroke immensely, so it is incredibly important that you be careful with these dogs. Brachycephalic Dogs have a harder time controlling their temperature and staying cool because of their smaller snout. Some examples of dogs that are Brachycephalic include:

  • Boston Terriers
  • Bulldogs
  • Boxers

These breeds get hotter much faster than other dogs and you have to pay extra attention to them.

Short snouted dogs are at higher risk for overheating.

It Burns! Keep Your Dog Off The Pavement

If your dog could talk, I bet one of the first things they’d tell you is to get off of the pavement. Even during a mild summer day sidewalks and streets absorb the sun to reach over 140 degrees in temperature!

Not only will It contribute to your dog’s overheating but it burns their pads too. Keep in mind that asphalt and concrete don’t actually start cooling down until the sun sets, and you should always check the pavement before letting your dog walk on it.

Know How To Quickly Recognize The Signs Of Overheating

The first sign you need to watch for is heavy panting. Dogs don’t sweat the way humans do, and panting is their main method of cooling their body. If your dog is excessively panting, it means that they’re having trouble keeping their body heat down.

Check to see if their tongue makes a bell shape at the bottom. Along with this they will probably salivate a lot and become lethargic, but the panting and bell tongue are serious enough to call for cooling your dog off.

How To Bring Your Dog’s Temperature Down: DON’T Just Spray Water

Many people will just splash or spray their dog down with water if they’re overheated, but this does not do a good job of actually cooling them down. Instead, put cold compresses under their arms and in their groin.

Be sure to give your dog plenty of cool water to drink from. Make sure their water is easily accessible and keep filling it back up with cool water. You can also fill up a kiddy pool with cool water for them to stand or wade in. Some dogs will even lie down in the kiddie pools – smart dogs!

Limit playtime for your dog during the summer, they'll get tired!Plan walks and exercise for the morning and evening times to keep your dog (and yourself) out of the peak temperatures of the day. Reduce playtimes down to 5-10 minutes instead of an hour as well. A lot of dogs won’t tell you when they’re getting overheated, they’re too excited about playing!

When In Doubt: Get Your Dog To The Vet!

Remember that if your dog seems in distress, then you should immediately go to the vet. Heat stroke kills, and it kills quickly. If you’re worried about it, don’t think twice and make that trip to the vet.  

At DogBoy’s we want you and your furry companion to have as comfortable a summer as possible. If you have anyfurther questions or want more tips on how to beat the heat then feel free to contact us today.



Image Permissions:

Bell Tongue by Bob. B. Brown

Sleepy Bulldog by sabianmaggy

Hot Dog by Gunter Hentschel