Dobermans and Summer Heat

doberman wearing a cooling vest for summer heat

Summer is finally here! And along with the sunshine, comes the heat.  While we may enjoy hot summer days, our canine friends may not.  Dogs are more sensitive to heat exhaustion or heat stroke than humans.  While we sweat to cool our internal body temperature, dogs pant to reduce theirs.  Keep in mind that the most at risk for overheating or heat stroke are the younger dogs, the old, the obese, Dobermans with black hair, and Dobermans with certain medical conditions.

So how do you know when your Doberman is reaching a critical health emergency like heat stroke?

A dog’s normal body temperature is about 99-102 degrees F or 37-38 degrees Celcius. Anything above 104 degrees F is cause for concern and at over 106 degrees, you are looking at a possible deadly temperature. If you have a rectal thermometer available you can quickly assess how badly your dog is suffering.

Call your vet or emergency animal clinic right away if you notice these symptoms of heatstroke: heavier than usual panting, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, and discolored gums.

Also keep in mind, that like humans, your dog can get sunburned, especially the nose on Doberman dogs. Their paws also need attention. Test hot pavement with your own bare feet, if you’re not sure if it’s safe for your dog.
If it’s too hot for you, it may burn the pads on your dog’s paws.

Help your Doberman handle the heat with these tips.

  • Move him to a shady spot or indoors. Don’t assume he’ll know to move out of the sun himself or stop over-exercising.
  • Use a spray bottle and mist him with water
  • Use fans to direct a breeze onto your dog
  • Buy a cooling pad/cooling vest or wet a towel and have your dog lie on it.
  • Apply wet cloths or towels to his body or a wet bandana to his neck
  • Place an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on your dog’s neck
  • If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, place your dog in an air-conditioned car. Stay with him and have the vent directed at his body.
  • Get a children’s swimming pool
  • Place ice cubes in your dog’s water dish
  • Place ice cubes inside a kong toy
  • Place ice packs to the dog’s armpits and groin where major blood vessels are.
  • Give your dog ice cubes to lick or make special frozen treats for dogs
  • Monitor your dog’s breathing and heart and be prepared to give artificial respiration and CPR.

My black and tan Doberman seems to love sun tanning. I make sure on extremely hot days to monitor her for overheating.  Remember dogs can’t tell us they’re not feeling well, it’s up to us as responsible owners to know when they need help.

How do you keep your Doberman cool in the summer? Do you have any neat ideas for handling summer heat?

6 thoughts on “Dobermans and Summer Heat”

  1. My Doberman is 4 years old and black & tan. He is a little overweight, but otherwise healthy. I am concerned because he gets hot extremely quick. It can take 30 minutes sometimes for the panting to stop. His gums and tongue have turned purple before. We went to vet immediately, but the color had returned by the time he was seen. He is an inside dog, but prefers to be outside with me while doing yard work. I have to cut my yard work short because he is so worn out. He recently started dropping to the floor when we come inside, he also does this in his kiddie pool in the backyard. In the house his head literally slams down on the hardwood floor. He is alert when he does this…just panting severely. He also has a clicking sound sometimes when panting. Can this be because he is overweight? My vet said that even 10 pounds severe for dogs, compared to humans. Or should I be having his heart checked? I do not know if he carried the gene. As he gets older the heat intolerance and excercise intolerance gets worse.

  2. I think that my doberman is crazy. I bought him when he was just 3 months (in February) old and since then, we are at beach almost every weekend. Later, during summer, I always was searching for beaches with strong shadows, between rocks, even made him temporary house between rocks, but he didnt spend even few minutes there. I was laying under direct sun all day and he was laying on my towel, next to me. Until he accepted swimming, i used to cool him with sea water and kept his pot full of drinking water all the time. In first time he drink sea water, until he got diarea few times and he learned to not drink it. We never had some problems, but still, i try to keep him cooled all the time. Also, I used baby sun protect creme 50+ to cover his nose and visible skin on ears, stomach and balls. Everybody was laughing, but it helped 😀

  3. I m having a serious doubt .I don’t know whether i can ask it here.I had a doberman puppy of seven months old,few days before its right had become big.i thought first it would be some swelling.Later confirmed its not pain for of my friend said that it may be the symptoms of filariasis..but i not even heard that this diseases will come to the same thing came on the left leg also..Can u guyz please help me any idea of this..Is this a spreading disease. Please suggest me what to do

    • Please take your dog to a veterinarian doctor to be examined. If you can’t afford treatment, most vets will allow payment plans.


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