Why do dogs hate the heat in summer?
Dogs can't sweat like us humans, so they have to pant and stick out their tongue to cool down. This makes their tongue bigger than normal and they have to breathe harder, which means they're more likely to get heatstroke than us.
Which dogs are the most heat-sensitive?
Dogs with short noses are the most sensitive to heat because they can't cool down as easily. And if they have a lot of fur, it's even harder for them to stay cool - it's like wearing a heavy coat in the middle of summer.
Shih Tzu dogs are the most sensitive to heat
Because of their short noses and thick fur, Shih Tzus are the dogs that are most likely to overheat. Dogs with wide tongues, like Pugs and Shepherds, are also sensitive to heat, but you can help them out by trimming their fur a bit in the summer.
Here are four ways to prevent your dog from getting heatstroke:
1. Check their temperature regularly
Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, usually around 38-39 degrees Celsius. Even so, you should still check their temperature from time to time in the summer. If it's over 41 degrees, that's abnormal and you should take them to a cool place ASAP.
2. Keep them hydrated
Water is crucial in the hot summer months. Make sure your dog always has access to water, whether by placing it in a visible location or taking them to drink regularly. Dogs can get caught up in playing and forget to drink, so it's important to remind them.
3. Avoid hot environments
If you're planning to take your dog out for exercise during the summer, be mindful of the heat. Avoid going out during the hottest times of day, especially when UV radiation is strongest between 10am and 2pm. Bring a water bottle with you and make sure your dog drinks plenty of water to prevent heatstroke.
Three tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool in the Summer
1. Don't rely too much on air conditioning
While it's tempting to keep your dog in an air-conditioned room all summer to help them cool off, it's important to avoid making them too reliant on it. Over time, this could lead to decreased exercise and weaker physical health.
2. Be careful with cold drinks
While icy treats may be a refreshing way for humans to beat the heat, it's important to limit the amount of cold drinks and ice your dog consumes. Dogs have high body temperatures, and too much cold water can upset their stomachs.
3. Avoid bathing your dog after exercise
After a long, hot walk, it's tempting to give your dog a quick shower to help them cool down. However, this is not recommended, as their body temperature will be higher than usual after exercise and a cold shower can shock their system. Instead, use a damp towel to wipe them down.