Training in the Summer

Training In The Summer

… watch for Signs of Overheating in Dogs

When training outside during the summer months, it is very important to keep sessions short, take frequent breaks and provide plenty of water, walk the dog around to cool them off before placing the dog in the crate walk. When providing water, it should be cool, but not ice water as this can actually cause a dog to go into shock if they are really hot.

There are products on the market that you can mix with water to help replenish electrolytes in the dog. Your vet could recommend an appropriate product to use.

Make sure that you watch for the signs of your dog overheating so that cooling measures can be taken quickly. Many dogs will show signs of overheating as they will slow down in training, etc. However, that is NOT true for all dogs. Some are so driven to work that they will continue to work even when very hot. Ideally you stop your training before the dog reaches the level to overheat, but do watch for these symptoms:

  • Profuse and rapid panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Thick drooling saliva
  • Wide eyes with a glassy look
  • Lack of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coma

Working quickly to get the temperature down is imperative. Any of the following measures can help to cool the dog.

  • Place the dog in cool, but not cold, water
  • Take the dog to air conditioning
  • Sponge his head, tummy and area between the legs with cool water
  • Wet his tongue
  • Turn a fan on him


Offer small amounts of cool water to drink every few minutes if he is conscious

There are water hoses available in both agility areas at Dogwood should you need to cool your dog during training.

Care must be taken not to cool the dog too much. In some cases, the temperature can drop too quickly. Once the temperature has reached 104 F or 103 F, cooling efforts should be stopped.

Dogs who have overheated should be seen by a veterinarian to determine if they need further treatment.