Summer is approaching, and you are worried if your pooch can bear the heat. So you try to find out what temperature can be too hot for your four-legged friend. Well, you have come to the right place!! Unlike humans, dogs feel extreme heat or extreme cold during summers and winters. They have their body covered with fur, so it only makes sense that a given temperature can be comfortable for us, but not for them.
One cannot give a specific temperature that can be too hot for a dog, because the amount of hotness a dog feels can depend on a lot of factors. From the type of breed to their body’s physiology, different dogs experience heat differently. In very general terms, a temperature range between 100 to 103 degrees is regarded as being manageable for a dog. However, in a few cases, a temperature of more than 90 degrees also can be hard for a dog to thrive.
Let us begin by first looking at the different factors that can affect the degree of hotness in a dog.
The body weight of a dog correlates to the amount of body fat. The fat layer acts as an insulating factor that keeps the body warm during cold seasons. However, this insulating layer can prove to be detrimental during the summer seasons. It is best to keep your dog lean and fit during summers to avoid any health risks.
Type of coat
Dogs that have thick coats are meant for colder regions where they can overheat their body faster and keep themselves warm. Dogs with thin skin and coats are best suited for warmer temperatures since they can retain their body heat.
Age and health of the dog
Puppies or dogs that are ill need more warm conditions as compared to adult or healthy dogs. They need warm environments because they are more vulnerable to other health issues.
Small-sized dogs lose heat much faster than large-sized dogs. This is because the surface area of the skin to volume ratio is large in small dogs, and hence they lose heat faster.
The type of breed also determines how much heat the dog can tolerate. In the case of dogs with short snout such as pugs, they tend to be more susceptible to heat strokes than other breeds. This is because their short snouts allow hot air to enter their lungs faster than in dogs with a longer snout. Whereas, huskies that have thick fur cannot survive well in warm temperatures.
What if the temperature is high for the dog?
During summers, since the temperature may shoot up drastically high, pets are very prone to heatstroke. We know that dogs do not have sweat glands and maintain their body’s temperature through breathing. In the case of heatstroke, the thalamus loses its ability to control the body’s temperature. When that happens, organ failures may occur since heatstroke affects the cells in the kidney, brain, liver, etc. It is a life-threatening condition and may even lead to death sometimes.
Listed below are some signs your dog may exhibit if the temperature is too high for them or if they are about to get a heatstroke-
- Difficulty in breathing because your dog is trying to cool itself
- An unusual gait
- The vomit may contain blood spots
- Excessive drooling with thick saliva
- The dog will seem lethargic
- Will drink water excessively
- It May seem to be collapsing
- Increased heartbeat
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, the first thing to do would be to move her to a cooler location, or switch on the fan and give her cold water. You can even rub a towel soaked in cold water over her head or keep icepacks under her paws and chest. If the condition persists then rush to the vet immediately
Tips to keep your dog safe during summers
Dogs should be able to live comfortably regardless of weather conditions. During peak summers, you can follow some of the tips mentioned below and keep your dog cool.
Loads of water
Fresh, clean drinking water is your dog’s natural life elixir during summer, and it is crucial to your dog’s survival. Make sure that your dog drinks plenty of water. Keep changing the water in the bowl so that your dog has access to clean and fresh water continuously. If possible, throw in some ice cubes in the water to give the cooling effect.
Relocate under a shade
A good shade would work wonders for your dog during summers. A good idea would be to bring your pet indoors during the day, but in case you wish to keep her out, make sure you relocate her under a shade. The dog’s kennel should be well ventilated with an opening on three sides.
Dip in the pool
Another idea is to dedicate a pool for your dog. In the evening, you can have playtime with your pooch by letting her play inside the pool filled with cold water for some time. This will relieve your dog from stress and heat.
Summer season can be a crucial time for dogs to bear, but with the correct arrangements and care, your dog will be able to survive the heat smoothly. Most pet parents think of trimming their dog’s fur short during summers, thinking that it’ll make them feel cooler. However, that should never be done. Doing so will expose the dog’s sensitive skin to UV sunlight and cause other problems.
Make sure that your dog has access to clean water all the time, and if needed, fix a fan in the kennel if you keep your dog outdoor. Stock in energy drinks for your dog during summers and keep feeding her moderately. Dogs should not be left unattended for long during extreme weather conditions since you don’t know how they may react to the changing temperature. In case of any emergencies, rush to the vet immediately.