Heat Exhaustion In Dogs – Causes & Symptoms

By Naina Anuman 8 Min Read
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion In Dogs

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Summer days are pretty hot, but it’s relatively hotter for your four-legged friend. Whereas we, humans, can easily adapt to 80-degree hot summer months, dogs’ bodies are unlikely to do that. It can develop symptoms of heat exhaustion in dogs, resulting in fatal diseases or strokes.

A dog’s body temperature generally stays higher than a human’s body temperature. So, you must know the standard temperature level of your pet friend to determine his condition, especially the heat exhaustion stress.

Many new pet owners misconceive their pup’s higher body temperature as a fever. However, that’s not how things work with them. An average temperature for a dog stays between 101 degrees to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature above that rating is the only indication that your pet is running through fever. Check out our other article on checking dogs’ temperature for further details.

7 Heat Exhaustion Symptoms In Dogs

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Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion in Dogs

Crucial Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion In Dogs

Excessive heat exhaustion is one of the crucial causes of dogs’ heat strokes. It can cause death to your loved ones without giving them spare time to receive treatment. However, that doesn’t conclude every stage of heat exhaustion involves such severe risk factors for all of them.

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In a hot environment, some dog breeds are more at risk of death than others. So, you need to be aware of the symptoms of heatstroke in dogs. A dog’s coat, size, age, and breed all play a role in determining its ability to regulate body temperature.

Excessive Panting or Breathing

Dogs that are overheated will pant at an increased rate. If your dog’s panting abnormally, then check its nose for excess moisture. Your dog might struggle to cool down by trying to lay on cool surfaces or sticking its head into cold water bowls. Constantly heavy panting can also be a sign of heatstroke in dogs. So, get them in air conditioning immediately and provide plenty of water!


In addition to the typical symptoms of dehydration — such as dryness in the mouth, tiredness, and dry skin — your dog may have a lot of other signs you’re not aware of. Your pet is probably dehydrated if you see black or tarry stools, vomiting, or diarrhea. Keep your pets healthy and hydrated by monitoring their health metrics, including pet drinking water and urine production.

Excessive Drooling

If you notice a change in your dog’s saliva — such as drooling irregularly or thick, sticky saliva — put your pet under veterinary care. The eyes, ears, and nose are also common spots that heat exhaustion affects. So, take notice of changes in these areas, too.


Dog with Fever
Dog with Fever

If your dog’s nose feels dry and hot, they are likely to have a fever. If your pet is lethargic, is not eating, or seems off in other ways, don’t hesitate to contact the vet. If your dog’s gums have changed color on a hot summer day, it could be a sign that the dog is feverish. Dogs’ gums, on the other hand, vary in appearance age group, size, and breed. So, be aware of those types of dogs.

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Rapid Heart Rate

If your dog seems overheated, check their chest for a pulse. If you feel what seems like a rapid pulse, they may be experiencing hypothermia. For added convenience, keep an eye out for the symptoms of low blood sugar (e.g., vomiting, disorientation).

Muscle Tremors

Heat exhaustion can cause muscle tremors to your pup. So, make sure to check on his body language, showing any symptoms of overheating. If failed, it can cause severe medical conditions such as kidney failure. You can also make them wear a cooling vest in direct sunlight. It will work as an air conditioner to their body. We have some of the Best Cooling Vest Amazon Listing for Dogs.

Sleeping Habits

Although dogs sleep for about 10-13 hours a day, excessive napping or trouble standing up are serious issues worthy of medical attention. We urge you to observe your pet’s sleeping habits and mobility in extreme temperatures. As they don’t have sweat glands other than on the pads of their paws, excessive heat can affect their inner body systems.

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Heat exhaustion is caused when some breed dogs produce or absorb more body heat than dissipate. Heatstroke in dogs includes sweating, fatigue, headache, irritability, thirst, high blood pressure, and loss of appetite.

Heat Stroke vs. Heat Exhaustion in Dogs

Pets are also very susceptible to heat exhaustion. It’s a milder version of heatstroke. In heatstroke, the body temperature stays up to 104 degrees. On the other hand, heat exhaustion doesn’t go above 104 degrees and denotes no life-threatening condition.

Heat exhaustion is the primary reason your dog suffers a high respiratory rate. However, it doesn’t cause your friend to faint. But heatstroke takes his physical activity to dangerous levels. You never know when it can take your pet’s life in a blink of an eye.

In pets, the body temperature is not as high, but they can still suffer from permanent organ damage due to a buildup of body fluids. Dogs may be more sensitive than cats and take longer to adapt to hot weather. In extreme temperatures, it’s critical to keep dogs cool and hydrated at all times.

Closing Thoughts

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Heat Exhaustion? Heat exhaustion in dogs is a health risk that can be prevented if you know the signs and immediately take your pet to a vet. The leading cause of heat exhaustion is too much time spent outside. This can be for a variety of reasons. Dogs will often run off and disappear, sometimes for hours.

The signs of heat exhaustion in dogs can be difficult to notice in the summer months. With elevated body temperature, lookout for a few telltale signs that your pup could potentially be suffering. If left untreated, this condition can swiftly develop into the risk of heatstroke. Then your pup will need to be taken to a medical emergency clinic.

In this article, your Memphis vets explain how to spot the signs of heat exhaustion. They also share the signs of heatstroke in dogs. So, the question “can dog get heatstroke?” has been solved. However, unlike heat exhaustion, heatstroke can occur even when the temperature is cooler than usual or in humid conditions.

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Dr. Naina is a highly experienced animal behaviorist with over 10 years of experience in dog training and behavior modification. Dr. Naina holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior, where they studied various domesticated animals' cognitive and social behavior. They continued their education and received a Master of Science in Veterinary Medicine, which included coursework in canine anatomy and physiology, as well as extensive training in positive reinforcement training techniques. As a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, Dr. Naina has worked with a wide variety of dog breeds, from puppies to adult dogs, and has successfully addressed behavioral issues such as aggression, fear, and separation anxiety. Their deep knowledge of canine behavior and passion for animal welfare has led them to develop a keen eye for identifying the most effective and humane training tools, including dog collars. In their work, Dr. Naina always emphasizes the importance of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), recognizing that the well-being of dogs is of the utmost importance. They take a thoughtful, evidence-based approach to recommend dog collars, always considering the unique needs and personality of each individual dog, as well as the preferences and goals of their human guardians. Their dedication to their work has earned them a reputation as a respected and trusted authority in the field of animal behavior.