How To Tell If Your Whippet Is Overheating

Overheating for dogs is incredibly dangerous, it can cause them exhaustion, heatstroke and even sudden death.

This means you need to be on the ball for any signs that your whippet is overheating.

In this post we are going to go through how to tell if your whippet is overheating, to ensure you can quickly cool down your furry friend and stop anything disastrous from happening.

When it comes to overheating, prevention is the key, never allow your pup to get too hot in the first instance as this will keep him safe.

You can do this by paying close attention to things such as the weather, if your pet is wearing a coat or not, and of course never leaving your pet in a car as this is one of the top causes of dogs overheating. 

What Is Overheating?

So what is overheating? If you haven’t worked it out already, it’s when your dog becomes too hot that it’s uncomfortable and in danger.

Overheating is common in parts of the world where the temperature is a lot higher, but it can also be caused by changes in the weather, such as a heatwave or not paying much attention to your dog’s activities.

whippet overheating
Image by Tim Hill from Pixabay

Heat-related canine conditions can quickly become life-threatening if not immediately treated, it’s important that if you suspect your dog is overheating that you act quickly to cool him down.

As mentioned, preventing overheating is key, so ensure your dog is hydrated, and offer them water at least every hour to ensure that they don’t overheat. 

How To Tell If Your Whippet is Overheating

Some dogs are more prone to overheating than others, it’s typically dogs that have thick fur and a higher body fat percentage that get dangerously hot.

However, we all know how much our whippets love to run, which can be just as dangerous when it’s a hot summer day and your pup hasn’t had much water.

Here are some signs to look out for which suggest your whippet may be overheating;

  • Heavy, continuous panting – If your whippet is panting heavy and continuously then this is a sign that he may be overheating. 
  • Vomiting – If your whippet is vomiting, then this is a clear indication that he’s overheating and should see a veterinarian.
  • Excessive drooling – Usually a sign of dehydration and overheating.
  • Seizures – Your whippet needs immediate veterinary attention if he’s having seizures which can be brought on through overheating.
  • Dark red tongue or gums – This is another sign your dog is overheating, typically indicating serious dehydration.
  • Increased pulse – If your whippet’s heart is beating abnormally quickly, this could be a sign he is overheating and you should stop him from running to keep his pulse under control.

There are lots of signs to look out for when it comes to your whippet overheating, so pay extra attention to any of the above, especially on hot summer days.

If you notice your whippet doing any of the above, then you’ll want to cool him down to stop seizures and other serious problems occurring. 

What Should You Do If Your Whippet Is Overheated?

Now that we’ve identified the signs to look out for, it’s time to look at what you should do if your whippet is overheated.

If you recognise any of the above signs, it’s important you take immediate action to cool him down and get his temperature back under control.

Here’s what you should to if your whippet is overheated;

  1. One reason why whippets overheat is that they love to run, this elevates their heart rate and causes their core temperature to rise. Combine this with a hot summer’s day, and you’ll no doubt have a whippet that’s overheated. The first thing you should do is leash up your whippet immediately and stop him from running, this will help lower his heart rate back to a normal level.
  2. You’ll want to take your whippet to an air-conditioned room or in front of a fan which can cool your whippet down.
  3. Give your whippet water which will help keep your pup hydrated, you can also pour excess water over your whippet to cool him down.
  4. Place a wet, cold towel behind your whippet’s neck, under the legs and stomach, this helps cool your whippet down which stops overheating.
  5. Take your whippet to a veterinarian if none of the above has worked to cool your whippet down.

Reasons Why Your Whippet May Be Overheating

There are a ton of reasons why your whippet may be overheating, it’s important to be aware of your dog’s situation to identify the cause so that you can react fast.

Here are some common reasons why your whippet may overheat;

  • Environmental factors – This is one of the leading causes of overheating in dogs, factors such as high humidity and high-temperature days. 
  • Running – Another reason why your whippet could be overheating is because they have been running too much and their heart rate has raised too high. This can cause heat exhaustion, combined with high temperatures this can be a disaster for many dogs.
  • Locked in a car – You should NEVER leave any dog in a car for any period of time, especially with the windows up. This causes so many deaths in dogs as they overheat so quickly in this situation. Temperatures in your car can quickly rise much faster than you may think.
  • Wearing a coat – As whippet owners, we love to see our furry friends with a cute winters coat on. This helps keep them warm in the cold months and even keeps them sheltered from the rain. However, these coats are meant for cold, winter conditions ONLY. So placing a coat on your whippet on a hot day is a recipe for disaster, and can quickly cause your whippet to overheat.
  • Dehydration – Like humans, dogs need to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and healthy. When you consider how much running whippets actually do, then you’ll understand that you need to keep your pup hydrated. Dehydration causes dogs to overheat very quickly, so it’s wise to be aware of your dog’s water bowl to ensure it’s always topped up, especially in summer.

How To Prevent And Avoid Overheating

As I’ve already mentioned, the best way to avoid your whippet overheating is to take preventative measures.

The biggest tip I can recommend for this is to simply be aware of your surroundings.

prevent whippet overheating
Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

Environmental factors such as weather can change very quickly, one minute it can be raining and the next it can be sunny with high temperatures, especially in some parts of the world.

This means you should take measures to keep your whippet hydrated at all times, as well as encourage resting.

We all know how much whippets love running, but when it’s a hot summer’s day this can cause them to overheat extremely quickly, so leash your pup up every now and again when temperatures start rising.

If you’re making your whippet wear his coat when it isn’t raining or cold outside, I would advise you to stop this.

Granted, whippets are slim dogs that feel the cold more than others, however, they run more than other dogs too, which elevates their heart rate, keeping them warm even on cold days.

Coats should only be used on cold, rainy days so that your pup has an extra layer when he needs it most, but for the most part, your whippet will be warm enough.

The weather can change very quickly, and if the sun comes out and your pup has his coat on, you can be sure he’s going to overheat.

Another great tip I recommend to avoid your whippet overheating is to go for walks to places that you know he can submerge his body, for example, a local lake or river.

This gives your furry friend the opportunity to really cool down if he needs too, and more often than not your pup will enjoy some time in the water. 

Final Thoughts

It’s very common for dogs to overheat, especially in summer months, which is why it’s important that you know what to look out for and how to take action to cool your pup down.

Hopefully, in this post we have helped answer your question of “how to tell if your whippet is overheating”, and gave you some clear actions to take if this happens.

In many cases, overheating isn’t dangerous and just requires you to act quickly to cool your pup down.

Whippets are especially prone to overheating as they love to run around at high speeds, but you should always stay aware of your pup’s temperature and how hard they are panting.

The best way to stop your whippet from overheating is to prevent it altogether, this means keeping your pet hydrated, naked (in terms of not wearing his coat) and leashing him up to lower his heart rate and give him time to rest.

As your whippet gets older, it’s a good idea to avoid taking him out in the blistering sun altogether, as even short walks can cause old whippets to overheat.

If you take note of the actions and measures we’ve set out above, your whippet will be safe and sound no matter the temperatures outside. 

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