Over exercised dog symptoms

It is important to be aware of over exercised dog symptoms. How much exercise a dog needs is not a one size fits all situation. Every breed is different and every individual dog has varying exercise needs. For a general idea of how much exercise your dog needs read “dog exercise calculator”.

Not enough exercise can result in a dog with excessive pent up energy. Over-exercising your dog can lead to injuries and over stressing their system.

Consequences of not providing sufficient activity for your dog.

It is important to provide your dog with adequate exercise to keep them healthy, toover exercised prevent behavior problems caused by boredom and pent-up energy and make them feel happy. This not only includes physical exercise but should include mental enrichment. Mental stimulation can use as much energy as physical activity. To learn more about providing mental stimulation read “Mental enrichment and mind stimulation” and also “Top 7 Puzzle Toys for dogs

It is also just as important to not over exercise a dog which can result in injury, heat stroke or worse. Ultimately, it is a balancing act.

Exhausted dog symptoms

Signs that your dog is being over-exercised can include;

Excessive panting during or after the exertion

Extreme thirst

Lagging behind when they are normally in front raring to go

Any lameness, limping or a reluctance to exercise or continuing to exercise

Sore muscles and stiffness

Confusion and lack of focus.

Appearing to be overtired after the exercise, or sleeping or laying down more than normal

If your dog is showing any over exercising symptoms you should reduce the amount of dog massageexercise they are receiving for a few days or more. It may also be a good idea to massage your dog and do range of motion exercises to loosen stiff muscles and joints. Read “Dog massage step by step” to learn more. In addition, you can use a heating pad to soothe sore muscles.

Signs of overheating

As dogs can’t cool themselves in the same way humans do by sweating it is possible to overheat even if the weather isn’t that hot. For more on the signs of overheating or heat stroke read “Exercising your dog in hot weather

Australian shepherdThe dangers of heat stroke and heat exhaustion are very real and the potential for your dog to suffer from this are very high. Heat stroke can take several hours before it becomes deadly. Some extreme cases can cause death if the dog doesn’t receive medical care immediately.


Signs that your dog may be overheated include

excessive whining and fidgeting,

panting with the tongue right out of their mouth and being scooped at the end,

weariness, confusion, sluggish movement

red gums and tongue.

Other signs to look out for are foaming at the mouth, thickening of the saliva and breathing difficulties.

Dehydration can set in fast. During dehydration, the dog’s mouth and gums will become dry and the skin will lose it elasticity. If you grab the skin on the back of the neck and stretch it will return slowly back into its natural position.

This is a sign that they are highly dehydrated and may go into shock. They will need IV fluids to be injected by your vet. Any signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration are a cue to stop the exercise and allow them to cool off.

Get into the shade or indoors if possible and give them small amounts of cool water. Don’t let them drink large amounts at once. Use a wet cloth to cool their paws, groin, and armpits. Cooling a dog down too quickly can cause them to go in to shock.

If they exhibit any vomiting, weakness, or seizures get them to the vet as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion symptoms

Heat Exhaustion occurs with exercise, particularly on hot, humid days. The symptoms are similar to those of heat stroke, but may not have the elevation in body temperature, as is the case with heat stroke.Normal body temperature for a dog 37 to 39 degrees Celcius

Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

Heavy panting, tongue fully extended and scooped like a spoon at the end

Gasping or breathing difficulties

Dazed expression, looking anxious, vacant, or staring into space

Drooling or frothing at the mouth

Unco-ordinated when walking and appear dizzy

Muscle weakness and fatigue

Your dog lies down and cannot get up or collapses

Vomiting or retching

Muscle cramping and tremors or even seizures

Anxiety or agitation

Rapid heartbeat and elevated breathing

Depending on the seriousness of the situation, these are the steps you should take if they feel their dog is suffering from heat exhaustion:

Move your dog out of the sun and into the shade or an air-conditioned indoor area or car.

Give the dog frequent small amounts of water to drink; DO NOT allow the dog to drink copious amounts.

Rinse the dog off with cool water or use damp cloth especially the ears, groin, armpits, & belly.

Place your dog in front of a fan while still damp or use a newspaper or towel to fan the dog

Place ice bags wrapped in cloth or a cooling collar around your dog’s neck and against the groin area for rapid blood cooling.

Take the dog to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

Do not cover your dog, even with a cold towel. A towel will prevent the heat
from escaping. Keep wiping the ears, groin, armpits, & belly with a wet cold washcloth.

german shepherd
Heat stroke symptoms include:

all symptoms of heat exhaustion, plus:

A very high body temperature. Body temperatures over 41 degrees Celcius can cause internal organ damage

A rapid and erratic heartbeat

Grasping or struggling for breath

Excessive, loud or irregular panting or they suddenly stop panting.

Frothing or foaming at the mouth

Dark red gums

Vocalizing such as barking or whining

Loss of consciousness

Shaking or seizures

Other signs of heat stroke to be aware of can include

Dry mouth and nose

Lack of urine production

Weakness and muscle tremors

Dryness and redness of the inside of the tongue, mouth, lips, and gums. May also change color to dull grayish-pink or purplish-blue

Dilated pupils and glazed over eyes

Vomiting and even diarrhea


How to cool a dog down quickly

Dog Heatstroke Aftercare

Dogs with heat exhaustion or even moderate heat stroke usually recover without complications or health problems. Severe heat stroke can cause organ damage that may need ongoing care by a vet and may require a special diet prescribed by your vet. Dogs who suffer from heatstroke once increase their risk of getting it again. Great care must be taken especially if the weather is hot.

In summary

It is important to ensure your dog gets the amount of exercise they require to release pent-up energy to avoid behavior issues, manage weight, for overall health and to keep them happy. It is equally as important to not over-exercise them and for you to be aware of over exercised dog symptoms.

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