Do you have a hot dog? Certain breeds are more vulnerable to heat, according to BC SPCA – Vancouver Island Free Daily
Whether flat-faced or very hairy, some dogs feel heat more than others, making them more susceptible to illnesses and injuries from hot weather.
As temperatures are expected to reach record highs, the BCSPCA is reminding owners which dogs are most vulnerable to problems such as heatstroke and dehydration.
Flat-faced fidos like pugs, shih tzus, and bulldogs are more sensitive to heat because it is difficult for them to suck in enough air and cool themselves by panting. Since the physiology of their mouths and throats limit their airflow, the BCSPCA advises walking these breeds with a harness to ensure their air is not constricted by a collar.
Flat-faced dogs aren’t good swimmers either, but a paddling pool with a few inches of water should be enough to keep them cool.
Thick, double-coated breeds such as Labradors, Huskies, and Shepherds – especially darker-colored breeds – also have a higher risk of overheating. The BCSPCA said these dogs should never be shaved as it increases their risk of developing heat stroke, sunburn and skin cancer. Instead, the company says to keep their coat clean and brush it daily to keep unkempt dogs cool.
Overweight and elderly dogs are also at increased risk. The company said puppy owners should also be careful, as young dogs are more likely to overwork themselves because they have so much energy.
Here is the BCSPCA checklist for keeping your pets safe:
– Keep dogs indoors on humid days
– Leave walks and outdoor activities early in the morning or late at night when it is cooler, and remember to bring water for your dog
– Take breaks in the shade and be careful when playing search or run as some dogs don’t know their limit
– As a general rule, if the pavement is too hot for your hand after a few seconds, it is too hot for your dog.
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