Overheating In Labs? 8 Reasons, 13 Tips To Cool Them

Summers can be harsh for humans and animals, but this season can prove unimaginable for some dogs. Especially dogs like Labrador Retrievers, who have less tolerance level for heat, can find it extremely difficult while make it through the season. During the peak summer months, Labradors often face situations like Overheating and Heatstroke. Labs are dogs with thick double-layer coats, which don’t make them appropriate for being in areas with heat. They instead do better in colder environments and therefore are meant for hilly terrain and mountainous regions. 

Labradors can Overheat in summer, but fortunately, some ways can ensure keeping them cool and safe. Disregarding the heat can prove fatal for your dog; therefore, taking certain precautionary measures is necessary. You can’t change the climatic conditions but definitely manage how your Lab will make it through it. Come, let’s have a look:

Overheating In Labs

Do Labradors Overheat Easily? Why?

Labradors can overheat easily, and exposure to high temperatures can even risk them to death. But ever wondered why?

Well, Labradors are dogs with thick double-layered coats. Their coat works as a water-repellent and heat insulator and is ideally an excellent one for making Labs comfortable in cold, snowy weather. However, during extremely hot weather, the similar coat works adversely, and as the heat penetrates, it seals it inside and even increases the temperature as time extends. Therefore, Labradors are at a very easier risk of overheating. Also, given their heat-insulating double-layer coat, Labradors take considerable time to cool down.

Labrador owners should never leave their pooch inside a hot car, in confined places, or outdoors during hot weather. These dogs require adequate cooling and enough ventilation to make it through the summer season.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Overheating?

Dogs sweat very differently than humans, and therefore they overheat quite easily. Their sweat glands are limited to the nose and foot pads, and therefore dogs themselves find it slightly difficult to manage when they overheat.

Dogs can run into overheating due to several different reasons. Weather, excessive physical work, infection, excitement, and many other factors contribute to the same. Unlike humans, dogs have a higher body temperature, but their ability to cool down is very low. However, that is why dogs and humans are paired together so that we can help the poor canines while they cannot. 

To keep your dog safe, here are some signs you need to look out at. If you observe the below conditions in your dog, chances are he is overheating.

8 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Overheating

  1. When the dog is panting excessively. The only way dogs know how to release their body heat is through panting. Since dogs have very limited sweating glands, they pant to lose their body heat. Panting works like evaporative cooling amongst pooches. They inhale cool air with their nose and upper airways and exhale hot air through their mouth. However, panting isn’t sufficient to cool down a dog. If your dog is panting more than usual, he is most likely overheating.
  2. When the dog has excessively fast heartbeats. Faster and irregular heartbeats mean your dog is evaporating (dissipating) heat via the process of ‘vasodilation.’ 
  3. When the dog is drooling excessively. Dogs do droll, but excessive drooling signifies that their body temperature is hot. While they drool, dogs release thicker and stickier and evaporate the heat more efficiently.
  4. When the dog shows lethargic behavior or is showing signs of disorientation. If you notice your pooch is napping more and is walking like he is unaware of his surroundings, he might be overheating.
  5. Vomiting, Diarrhea, and less hunger are other signs of overheating. However, these signs mean the level of overheating has reached a dangerous level.
  6. When your dog is excessively thirsty. Dogs try to cool themselves down by drinking more water while they are overheating internally. 
  7. Changes in gum color and elevated body temperature, too, are some signs of overheating.
  8. Lastly, for the worst, dogs who are overheating may even collapse. This undoubtedly is a sign of an extreme medical emergency.

NOTE: Even though when your dog is trying to cool his body down by panting or drooling, remember he needs your help. Self-efforts by the pooch aren’t enough to cool down while overheating.

How To Keep Your Labrador Cool And Happy In Hot Weather?

Labradors who live in hot areas often overheat during the peak summer season. The reasons are obvious that these dogs aren’t usually meant for hot and humid places due to their natural build. When the majority of people are happiest as the sun shines, Labs and their owners aren’t really. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot protect your Labrador from hot weather. 

There are several ways by which you can keep your Lab cool and happy in hot and humid weather. Some of them might be a little extra efforting, but for your canine’s comfort, everything is worth it. 

13 Tips To Cool Labradors During Summers

  1. Always ensure your dog is hydrated throughout the day. According to American Kennel Club, an adult dog must drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. The amount may increase or decrease given the dog’s weight, age, weather, health condition, medication, and activity level, but there shouldn’t be any drastic changes. 

TIP: If summers are too harsh, provide slightly colder water (from the refrigerator) to your dogs. Some dogs even enjoy munching ice.

  1. During hot summer months, limit your dog’s outdoor hours to early morning and late evenings. Avoid getting out when the sun is harsh.
  2. Watch out for hot pavements since they can prove harsh on your dog’s paw.
  3. Give your Labrador a freezable dog toy.
  4. When it is the summer season, take your Labrador swimming. You can even replace their daily exercise routine with 45 minutes to an hour of swimming. 
  5. Never, ever make the mistake of leaving your dog inside a car. Even if the temperature is mild, you are possibly leaving them to death. Every year there have been uncountable incidents when dogs died when left in the car alone, regardless of the season, weather, and temperature. 
  6. Always keep your home A/Cs on and maintain a soothing temperature for the pooch.
  7. During summer months, let your dog (if they desire) sleep on the bare floor since bedding can sometimes heat their body.
  8. Bath your dog once every month.
  9. Never shave your Labrador’s fur but comb them to remove the excessive shedding buildup. This will contribute to keeping them safe from overheating.
  10. If required, use a spray bottle to keep the dog cool during summer.
  11. Create a cool breeze using a fan or cooler when the temperature is rising excessively.
  12. Avoid giving your dog food that has heating properties.

Can Labradors Sleep In Ac?

Labradors aren’t the best dogs for summers, so if the temperature is high, they can sleep in Air Conditioners. However, while you allow your Labrador to sleep in AC, make sure to keep certain factors in mind. For instance,

  • The Air Conditioner temperature should be ideally never less than 20 degrees Celsius. 
  • While the Air Conditioner is on, never allow the Labrador to sleep directly on the floor.
  • Avoid Air conditioners if the Lab is too young and still a puppy.
  • Do not allow your Labrador to sit or sleep directly under or in front of the Air Conditioner.
  • Make your dog move out of closed, Air-Conditioned rooms every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Lastly, while your dog is constantly in an Air-Conditioned room, make sure you are monitoring him closely for any kind of medical concern or physical discomfort.

What Is The Best Room Temperature For A Dog?

The best room temperature for a dog may differ depending on the seasons and weather conditions. For instance, during summer, the room temperature should ideally remain between 75- and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have breeds like German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers, the ideal room temperature may be customized to 72 degrees Fahrenheit as well. 

Simultaneously, during winter, the ideal room temperature for dogs is between 69- and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Dogs can sleep in the given temperatures or slightly altered, given how the climate is on that particular day/ night.

Why Is My Black Lab Hot?

Black Labradors heat up easily since Black color attracts and holds heat more naturally. It is just the darkness of their coat that makes Black Labs absorb heat faster and keep warm for longer. Black builds up heat naturally more prominently than other colors. That is why Black Labs aren’t the best choice for hotter climates, and they would do better in hilly and cold terrain.

12 Dog Breeds At Higher Risk Of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is common with dogs and cats, but some pooches are at higher risk for the same. As temperatures begin to warm up, certain dog breeds need to stay indoors. Certainly, such breeds aren’t meant for hotter regions, but since some humans overlook the fact, these dogs often run into higher risks of heatstroke and overheating. We are talking about breeds, including,

  1. Chow chow (The most susceptible dog breed that is at extreme risk of suffering from Heatstrokes. 
  2. Bulldog
  3. French dog
  4. French mastiff 
  5. Greyhound 
  6. Shih Tzu
  7. Pekingese
  8. Cavalier King Charles spaniel 
  9. English springer spaniel 
  10. Golden retriever 
  11. Pugs
  12. Labrador Retrievers

Most commonly, brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds are at higher risk of heatstroke than other breeds. It is because such dogs often struggle to breathe. Plus, if these breeds have a thick or double-layered coat, they suffer a lot during the summer months. 

NOTE: Purebred dogs are always at a higher risk of overheating and heatstroke than crossbreed dogs. 

Wrapping up…

While we are at the end of this article, we hope that you have found answers to all your queries by now. However, remember that precautionary safety is much more efficient than preventing and handling when the problem already arrives.

Always keep your Labrador or other pet from overheating in the first place. Doing so is easier and more convenient. However, managing things when the dog is already overheated or suffering a heatstroke is quite troublesome. 

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