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Beat the Heat! Recognizing the Signs of Overheating in Your Chihuahua

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Chihuahuas sunning themselves on a beach

Hey, dog lovers – it’s hot, hot, hot! Summer is a fantastic time of year to head outdoors with your four-pawed pal, and although our pint-sized family members are usually game for some fun in the sun, it’s important to remember that Chihuahuas, like any dog breed, can easily overheat in warm or extremely humid weather.

Let’s take a look at how to recognize overheating when it happens to your pooch, what to do to help, and finally, when it’s time to head to the vet.

In warmer weather, even simple activities like a walk in the park or a car ride can quickly become dangerous for your pup. The sun shining directly on your Chihuahua can increase their body temperature quickly, especially if they’re exercising, and it’s much harder for dogs to release body heat – they can only cool themselves through panting or sweating from their paw pads.

In extreme heat conditions, our friends can progress from being simply overheated to developing heatstroke faster than we might think, so it’s vital for us to be able to recognize the first signs of overheating.

Signs that your Chihuahua is getting too hot:

  • An increased rate of panting
  • Big tongue’ syndrome – your Chi’s tongue seems abnormally long or wide
  • Their body feels hot to the touch
  • Lots of drooling
  • They seem excessively thirsty

At this point, your Chi needs a break immediately, some shade or (even better) air conditioning, a drink of cool water, and a rest for a few hours while you keep an eye on them.

Signs of heat exhaustion/heat stroke are:

  • Heavy breathing or having trouble breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness, stumbling, or collapse
  • Seizures
  • Body temperature above 104 degreesDark red tongue or gums

If your Chihuahua is showing any of these signs, they need help right away, so head to your veterinarian or the nearest pet emergency clinic! Offer them cool (not cold) water to drink if they can swallow, and place moist towels or washcloths on their belly, armpits, groin and neck area to cool them down. If you have a thermometer on hand, gently take your pup’s rectal temperature – a temperature over 104 degrees is a serious emergency.

Help your little dog to beat the heat by:

  • Walking them during the cooler times of day, with lots of rest stops and drink breaks
  • Providing shade from intense sun
  • Giving them fun frozen treats like cubes of frozen canned food to chew on
  • Keeping their bowl filled with fresh cool water
  • Leaving them at home when we’re running errands – hot cars can cause your pup to become dangerously overheated in mere minutes!

Have you ever had any experiences with your Chihuahua (or any dog) getting overheated? We’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and let us know what happened and how you handled it.


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Amanda King

Friday 3rd of August 2018

My poor Luna went into heat exaustion, and I'm 30 weeks pregnant. Took her for a ride to go get my fiance, and she was breathing excessively and acting wierd. So I took her home thought it was separation anxiety from her puppies! Looked up the signs and I was freaking out. Put cooled towels on her and a fan, kept giving her cool water and she is calm and I keep checking on her. And doing so much better!!!!


Friday 3rd of August 2018

Wow, that's scary Amanda! So glad you realized what was going on and helped her in time.


Wednesday 30th of May 2018

We recently had our 3 chihuahuas was a very hot day. They had lots of shade and water. Of course...they play hard. Only 1 of them had issues. Lucifer started throwing up and was very unsteady on his feet. I took him in the house and sprayed him down. Didn't really seem to do much so I gave him a bath in lukewarm water. I took him back outside in his damp towel. He sat on my lap in the shade for a bit. He was fine. Gave us a scare. I went through the same thing a few years back. Dogs and humans are not that different in that respect.


Wednesday 30th of May 2018

Yikes that's scary Sharon. I'm glad he was okay!


Monday 27th of June 2016

My Chi Minnie Mouse was outside in the evening for her bathroom break. I asked my husband to bring her in. I only let her outside for less than 5 minutes Because of the mosquitos. Now the heat also. I held her to show her dinner and her body felt hot , then she threw up twice lots all over my legs It was hot. I took her to the shower , gave her room tempature bath, I knew to slowly add cooler water So she wouldn't go into shock. Her body was still hot. I wrapped in cool towel and held her. Then she was fine. I told my husband this was from heat exhaustion. He said maybe she ate something outside, I said no, Because I know the signs. Thanks to your article he now knows what a over heated Chihuahua can go through. Cathy, thank you.


Monday 27th of June 2016

Poor Minnie Mouse! How hot was it?

Mike Churchill

Saturday 19th of September 2015

My Chi Smokey likes to lay in the sun on hot days under the dryer vent. I think she ain't right.


Saturday 19th of September 2015

LOL, yeah I don't think you need to worry too much about Smokey getting over-heated.

Gina Estevez

Monday 31st of August 2015

I had the scare of my life today with my baby boy Nacho. We were home and although we we indoors I guess it was just too hot for him and he kind of passed out and rolled off his little pillow and tried to get up and was disoriented so picked him up and he was boiling hot. I gave him a quick little dip in the sink with some cool water and he was ok afterwards. So I've been keeping a spray bottle near to spritz him and I'm keeping a cool wash cloth to put on him throughout the night. He's been drinking and eating ok but I was soo scared and felt so helpless. So it looks like we're taking a trip to the vet tomorrow.


Sunday 6th of August 2017

Ours got overheat and we gave a cool bath and cloie seems okay everyone pray for her


Monday 31st of August 2015

Yikes! That is scary Gina! Let us know what the vet says!