A guest post by Wendy Lipscomb.
Already there are some places in the USA that are experiencing some pretty hot days. For instance, at the time of me writing this introduction, around 2pm last Friday, the temperature in Phoenix, Arizona is 97 deg F. (36 deg C.) That’s perfectly hot enough for us humans even before we think of dogs. Especially dogs that have thicker coats.
Over to Wendy!
Regulating the Body Temperature of Your Thick-Haired Dog during the Summer.
by Wendy Lipscomb, May 9th, 2018
Summer brings in many outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, running and going for a picnic or maybe going out just for a walk. There is nothing wrong with taking your dog out with you if you know how to regulate your pet’s body temperature.
Humans regulate their body temperature by sweating but animals do not have this property. Dogs do sweat very slightly from their nose and paws but that cannot help them regulate their body temperature. Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting; when a dog breathes through his mouth the saliva evaporates cooling down the blood in the veins. Put another way, the air that a dog breathes passes through its nasal passage before reaching its lungs. The air is cooled when it is passed through that nasal passage.
Therefore, it becomes even harder for dogs to regulate their body temperature when the sun is shining down, and also when the humidity in the air increases. This builds up a pressure on the dog’s lungs and heart as he breathes in and out more frequently to regulate his body temperature.
But you can take some measures to help your pet to regulate his body temperature during summer outdoors.
No doubt about it that dogs are super active animals and love to go outdoors. But while taking them out in those summer months it is easy to forget that the paws of our dogs are very sensitive and they can be burned by walking on the pavement and roads in the daytime. So, invest in good protective booties or apply paw wax to protect your dog’s paws.
In addition, your dog can also get sunburned by excessive exposure to the sun. Therefore, either limit the exposure of sun for your four footers or visit your vet clinic so that they can recommend a good sunscreen for your dog.
Another thing that you can consider while going out in the summer is that if you are traveling in a car and stop for rest never ever leave your furry companion in a locked or closed car. Because in summer your car becomes extremely hot by trapping the heat inside. If you leave your pet inside a hot car it can suffocate within minutes. Yes, within minutes!
Always carry a bottle of water to keep your dog hydrated. Create breeze for your dog to make the hot temperature tolerable for them. The breeze helps in cooling sweat and will make your dog feel relaxed. For this purpose buy a shop fan that is portable; a good option to create a breeze to keep yourself and your dog cool.
The above-mentioned tips are general tips that you must keep in your mind to implement in the summer. However, thick-haired dogs require a little more attention to maintain their safe body temperature.
People have the misconception that a dog with thick hair will suffer more during summer but let me tell you that thick-haired dogs are good at regulating their body temperatures. The fur of thick-coated dogs helps them to stay warm in winter and in summer their fur works as insulators and protects their skin from direct exposure to the sun.
Bathing For Thick-Haired Dog:
Well, fleas and ticks are around all of the year. Fleas can survive outside for long periods of time, particularly in a warm and sticky climate. As mentioned previously, summer bring in more heat, humidity and more outdoor time. Thus, it is the peak time for your thick-haired dog to catch fleas or ticks. Therefore, bathing your dog regularly is as important as anything else because it will not only help your dog to regulate his body temperature but bathing will also help you and your puppy be rid of these tiny crawlies as flea bites can cause redness, irritation, allergy and even illness such as Lyme diseases. It is recommended to use a good quality flea shampoo to get rid of fleas. Always examine the ingredients of the shampoo to avoid buying one with harsh chemicals because it may cause a reaction to your dog’s skin.
You should not Shave Your Dog in summer:
People ask me if I am going to shave my thick-haired dog in the summer? The answer to this question is “No”. Thick-haired dogs have two layers of hairs. The long-guard hairs protect the dogs in the winter from snow and the inner layer helps them to stay warm in those same winters. However, these dogs shed their undercoat in the summer and they are left with only long-guard hairs that insulate dogs from heat and protects them from sunburn.
Shaving your double-coated dog is not a good idea because shaving changes the texture of the coat. Your dog sheds off his inner coat in the summer. If you shave his coat his hair will soon start growing back and you will see that the soft and fluffy inner coat will grow first and later on the guard-hairs will combine with them. In addition to this, the texture of the new coat will be sticky and your dog will bring in whatever he passes through and that sticks to his new coat.
Moreover, the combination of the new growing inner and outer coat will also make your dog feel hotter on summer days.
Brush Your Dog Frequently:
Instead of shaving your dog’s coat, try to brush it every alternate day. Brushing your dog’s coat with a fine-toothed comb will untangle the hairs and it will also help in removing the winter undercoat of your thick-haired four-footer. This will increase air circulation and will make your dog feel cool and comfortable.
I asked Wendy for a little about herself. This is what she sent in:
Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two; life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves – writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.com
So no other way than to close this post with the message: Stay Cool Peeps!
(Brandy! Take Note!)