Your region’s warmer spring months have gotten you excited about wearing shorts and tee shirts this summer. However, your Labrador retriever Harley is concerned about avoiding heat stress during his neighborhood walks and exercise sessions. He’s also quite worried about his canine buddies who are especially prone to hot-weather distress. Fortunately, your veterinarian has provided valuable guidance on avoiding heat-related medical problems.
These poor pooches have relatively small skulls, short noses, and upper respiratory structural issues. Therefore, they have a tougher time cooling themselves off through panting. Harley plans to warn his Boston terrier, pug, boxer, shih tzu, bulldog, and Pekingese friends about heat-related hazards. Besides being generally cautious, they should avoid outdoor exercise when it’s hot.
English and French Bulldogs
Although these sturdy dogs are built like heavyweight boxers, they’re actually quite fragile in hot weather. These poor brachycephalic pooches can’t efficiently cool themselves down. Although the English bulldog is especially prone to heat stress (even potentially fatal heat stroke), both breeds are at risk. To keep these husky guys safe, prevent all outdoor exercise when it’s hot. Keep them inside where it’s cool.
These imposing, muscular dogs have ultra-thick coats that serve them well in colder climates. Unfortunately, this super-efficient insulation works against them when it’s hot. If you can’t provide these independent canines with a climate-controlled environment, give them lots of water and abundant cool shade.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
These charming compact dogs can wrap you around their little paws without much effort. However, like several other toy breeds, their small bodies don’t adjust well to excessive heat (or cold). Since they’d prefer to live in comfort, keep these pampered pooches inside your climate-controlled home.
Preventing Heat Stress
Since Harley and his buddies don’t monitor the weather, help to reduce their heat stress risks. If the outdoor environment suddenly goes from pleasantly mild to downright hot, allow your dog to ease into exercise. On warmer days, walk your pooch early in the morning and after 7 p.m., when it’s cooler. Prevent vigorous workouts, and give your canine housemate multiple breaks and unlimited fresh water.
If you suspect your dog has been impacted by heat stress, see your veterinarian immediately. Time can be critical in heat-related emergencies, and you want to provide your pooch with the best chance of a full recovery.