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Is my dog overheating?

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden
Age: 1-2 years
Hi Dr. Marie,

I have a simple question. Max is now a 74 lb 1yr old Golden.

With that long thick coat I'm worried about him overheating.

How can I tell when a dog is overheating beyond just normal panting after a walk or something?

What should I do if he is? Should I try feeding ice cubes? Cold bath? Lots of water? Fans?

Thanks,

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for sending the picture of Max! He is so gorgeous!

It's really unlikely that Max will overheat unless there are extreme circumstances.

It's hard to tell if he is overheating but a few signs would include:

-lots of panting
-lack of appetite
-really lethargic

If you think Max is warm the best thing you can do is to make sure he has water available all the time. A fan is a great idea, but I've found that often a dog will choose to move away from a fan. So, if he likes it then, sure, go for it, but he may not like it though.

Ice cubes are a great idea as well. You can give him several to chew on and they make great toys as well.

Another thing that dogs like when they are cold is access to a cold floor. If you have a basement with a concrete floor, dogs like to lie spread eagle on a floor like this to cool themselves down.

You'll hear different theories on whether or not you should shave a dog to help cool them down. Personally I don't recommend it for a dog unless you are having trouble keeping his coat from matting.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.




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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.