Whether they’re flat-faced or extra furry, some dogs feel the heat more than others, making them more susceptible to warm-weather-related illnesses and injuries.
With temperatures expected to encroach on record highs, the BCSPCA is reminding owners which dogs are more vulnerable to issues such as heatstroke and dehydration.
Flat-faced fidos like pugs, shih tzus and bulldogs are more sensitive to heat because it’s difficult for them to take in enough air and cool themselves down with panting. Since their mouth and throat physiology limits their airflow, the BCSPCA advises walking such breeds with a harness to ensure their air isn’t constricted by a collar.
Flat-faced dogs also aren’t good swimmers, but a wading pool with a few inches of water should be enough to cool them down.
Thick and double-coated breeds such as Labradors, huskies and shepherds – especially darker coloured ones – are also at a higher risk of overheating. The BCSPCA said these dogs should never be shaved as it increases their likelihood of developing heatstroke, sunburns and skin cancer. Instead, the society says to keep their coat clean and brush it daily to keep shaggy dogs cool.
Overweight and senior dogs are also at an increased risk. The society said puppy owners also need to watch out as young dogs are more likely to over-exert themselves since they have so much energy.
Here’s the BCSPCA’s checklist for keeping your animals safe:
– Keep dogs inside on humid days
– Leave walks and outdoor activity to early morning or late evening when it’s cooler, and remember to bring water for your dog
– Take shade breaks and use caution when playing fetch or running, as some dogs don’t know their limit
– As a rule of thumb, if the pavement is too hot for your hand after a few seconds, it’s too hot for your dog.
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