Dog’s Head Is Hot (7 Concerns + Solutions)
While it is true that many people enjoy the companionship of other animals, it’s also true none quite compare to the bond between dog and human.
I think there are plenty of good reasons that dogs are considered man’s best. For starters, dogs offer unconditional love, devotion, and friendship that simply can’t be topped by any other pets. Dogs have been known to form incredibly strong connections with their owners, often going above and beyond what is expected of them.
The only things dogs ask for in return are some love and playfulness, as well as some attention to their basic needs. Part of that is keeping an eye out for oddities. You need to understand why and what to do when your dog seems different.
By being aware of these different possible explanations for strange behavior, we can better understand and better help our dogs when they’re not feeling well or are feeling stressed out.
So, what about when your dog’s head seems overheated? Why is my dog’s head hot? There isn’t one answer to this, however, your dog’s head is likely hot because of a fever, a different medical issue, ingesting something bad, a recent vaccination, it’s hot out, he got extra worked up while playing or he laid on or near something warm.
We’re all familiar with fever in humans. But, did you know that dogs can get fevers too?
In humans and dogs, a fever is a rise in body temperature above the normal set point. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. It acts as a thermostat, trying to maintain a temperature as close to normal as possible.
In cases of true fever, the thermostat is reset to a higher temperature, causing the body to run a fever. This can make a dog’s head feel hot.
Other Medical Issues
While probably the most obvious, fever isn’t the only medical issue that can cause a dog’s head to become hot. Some non-fever medical issues can raise the body temperature and make a dog’s head hot.
Conditions like heat stroke, and more can cause the body temperature to spike, potentially leading to dangerous overheating. But despite making your dog’s head feel hot, these conditions are not considered fevers as the body’s thermostat isn’t reset as discussed above.
He Ate Something He Shouldn’t Have
Instinctually, your dog is a scavenger. This means that he’ll put just about anything he finds tempting into his mouth. Unfortunately, that puts him at risk of ingesting something poisonous or otherwise dangerous if he sees an opportunity to do so.
Not everything poisonous or otherwise bad for your dog will make his head feel hot, but it can be a sign he got into something that he shouldn’t have.
Sometimes, vaccinations can cause a mild fever in dogs as their body fights off the potential infection. This is usually considered a normal and healthy response. Your vet should tell you the possible symptoms your dog will face when he gets his shots.
If you weren’t paying attention at the vet visit yesterday, and now your dog’s head feels hot you might want to call your vet to make sure that it is something you should have expected.
Exercise And Playing
Dogs love to play. It’s one of their favorite things to do. Unfortunately, sometimes they can get so caught up in the moment that they don’t realize how hot and tired they’re getting.
This can lead to them becoming overheated, and as a result, their head may feel hot. If your dog is panting excessively, seems tired, or is otherwise acting strange after playing, it’s best to take a break and let him cool down.
It’s Hot Outside
Sometimes dogs can get so excited about playing around outdoors that they don’t realize how hot or cold it is.
If it’s a particularly warm day, make sure to keep an eye on your dog and give him plenty of opportunities to cool off. If his head feels hot, it’s probably best to bring him inside where it’s cooler.
He Laid On Or Near Something Warm
Dogs love to lay in the sun, and they’ll often find the warmest spot in the house to curl up in. I always know where to find my dogs on cool mornings. Laying in front of the glass door where the morning sunbeams across our kitchen floor.
When dogs lay in the sun or in front of a heater like this, it means that their bodies and heads can feel hot.
If this is the case, and your dog doesn’t seem to be in any distress, there’s no need to worry. However, if you’re concerned, you can always offer him a cool spot to lie down in.
What Should I Do If My Dog’s Head Feels Hot?
Your reaction to a dog with a hot head is going to vary based on the reason your pooch’s head is so warm. If your dog’s head is hot and it isn’t from something harmless like laying in the sun on a cool day, then you’ll want to make sure he’s going to be okay.
Dogs and breeds may naturally run a regular temperature slightly higher or lower than others and be okay (101.0 to 102.5 F), but you should still monitor their temperature just in case. If your dog’s head feels hot, it’s important to make sure that his temperature stays below 104.0 Fahrenheit.
Give your dog plenty of water to drink and a cool place to go. Being in a cooler environment will help to lower his body temperature. If you don’t have air conditioning, you can use a fan or open up some windows to help get the air moving and cooler.
Please remember that you should NOT give your dog human medication unless you have been instructed to do so by your veterinarian.
Should My Dog’s Head Feel Hot?
Unless he was outside playing, had vaccinations with that side effect, or was laying in the sun or next to the heater, your dog’s head shouldn’t be hotter than normal. But, remember your dog’s natural temperature is higher than yours so, even if it is at a normal temperature, it may feel hot to the touch.
Should I Worry If My Dog’s Head Is Hot?
A hot head alone isn’t a time for worry, but it is time for further investigation and monitoring. This could be a sign that your dog is in distress and needs help.
Your dog’s temperature should ideally stay in the natural range mentioned above. Be sure to call your vet or other emergency help if your dog’s temperature goes below 99 or above 104 F.
When To Call The Vet?
As I just mentioned, you’ll want to call the vet when your dog’s temperature is above 104 or below 99 F. In addition to that though, call your vet if your dog has a prolonged elevated temperature that is above the natural range but below the emergency (104 F) high.
Don’t hesitate to call your vet if you can’t keep your dog cool, you suspect he ingested something poisonous or something else hazardous to his health. It’s also a good idea to call if you need more specific advice for your exact situation.
Summary: My Dog’s Head Is Hot! Concerns And Solutions
There are many reasons why a dog’s head can get hot. The most common reason is fever, which is caused by the body’s thermostat being reset to a higher temperature. Other medical issues that can cause a dog’s head to become hot include heat stroke, poisoning, and vaccinations. Dogs can also overheat if they play too hard or lay in the sun too long.
If you’re concerned that your dog’s head is hot, there are a few things you can try to help him cool down. First, make sure he has plenty of water to drink and a cool place to lie down. You can also use a fan or open up some windows to help get the air moving and cooler. If your dog’s temperature remains elevated, call your vet for further instructions.
When a dog’s head is hot, it’s important to make sure that his temperature stays below 104.0 Fahrenheit. Depending on the dog and breed, your good boy may have a normal body temperature that runs between 101.0 to 102.5 F. If your dog’s head is hot, but everything else checks out okay, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on him just in case.