Summertime is sunshine, play and happiness …
and what better way to enjoy the summer than with your dog?
The dangers of Summer
Besides all the fun summer can be, the heat can also be a danger for dogs,
there are risks of heatstrokes, sunburns, dehydration and burned paws.
For Bulldog owners and owners of other shortnosed breeds,
there are extra precautions you need to take, to prevent over heating.
Here are some tips, by taking some simple precautions,
you and your dog can enjoy the summer months together.
Do not underestimate the Heat
Unfortunately a lot of dog owners underestimate the dangers of overheating.
A lot of times they think:
• My dog is in good condition and can run for hours
therefor it will not overheat → Your dog can have the best condition
in the world but all dogs are susceptible to overheating
• We live in a warm climate so my dog is used to the heat →
Eventhough your dog lives in a warm climate it will still be
at risk of overheating
• My dog never had any problems with the heat before
so I don’t need to take precautions → What never happened before
can still happen in the future just because
your dog didn’t have any problem with the heath before
will not exclude him or her from heatstroke
• My dog has enough water and will come inhouse when
he or she gets hot → A dog cannot regulate their temperature
as well as humans can and often the dog will not come inside
when getting too hot. So keep an eye on your dog when outside
in the heat even when in the garden and make sure
to get him or her inside before overheating
• I keep my dog inside during the heat so it cannot overheat →
Inside temperatures can still be too high and can also cause overheating
A dogs body is less efficient at cooling themselves than people,
so they are more susceptible to overheating.
A dog’s normal body temperature is 100-102 degrees.
They have sweat glands on their nose and pads of their paws
which they use to pant and drink water to cool down.
Heat exhaustion and Heatstroke
Heat exhaustion in dogs is often caused by
dehydration and overheating from running or
to much exercising during hot weather.
Heatstroke can occur when your dog’s body temperature
is too high for a prolonged period of time,
and both can lead to brain and organ damage, heart failure and even death.
Shortnosed, thickcoated breeds,puppies, seniors and dogs with health problems are especially susceptible.
Symptoms of overheating
○ Excessive panting
○ Puking or foam at the mouth
○ Rapid pulse
○ Odd sounds coming from the throat
○ Discolored tongue or gumbs
○ Exhaustion, lack of coordination or collapsing
What to do, when your Dog is overheated?
○ Move the dog inside or into the shade
○ Give him water to drink
○ Make him wet, especially making their:
paws, ears and chest wet
will give a quick cooling down (use cool not cold water!)
○ Put a wet towel under the dog
and cool their paws, neck and belly
(do Not put a towel over their back cause this will isolate the heat)
○ When you have cooled with water
use your fingers to spread his fur to open up their coat
to help air flow through. Their coat acts as an insulator
to cold weather so by spreading his/her fur open
you are helping to reduce this insulation
If this does not work in less than 10 minutes go to the vet.
With overheating it is very important to get their temperature
down as soon as possible.
If your dog has trouble breathing, purple or white gumbs or tung,
or is not responding to any treatment as mentioned above
it might be signs of heartfailure or a stroke,
contact your veterinarian immediately!
10 ways to keep your Dog cool in the Heat
1. Always have fresh, cool water available for your dog,
whether on a walk, in the car or
in a tip-proof bowl in the house or yard
2. If you keep your dog outdoors,
bring him inside during the hottest hours of the day,
and provide a shaded area in the yard,
preferably in a well constructed doghouse,
making there is always access to cool water,
since the hot sun can quickly make water too hot to drink.
3. Never leave your Dog in the car, not even for a few minutes
4. Protect your dog from sunburn.
Many people don’t realize that dogs can get sunburn!
It’s especially common in pale and short-haired dogs,
usually on the bridge of the nose and tips of the ears
as well as the belly, groin and insides of the legs.
Use a sunscreen (specifically for dogs)
5. Dogs’ paws can get burned on sidewalks,
asphalt and sand when walking during the hottest time of the day.
You can check the temperature of the surface with your hand
before walking your dog, if it’s too hot for your hand,
it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
6. Walk during early morning or evening hours
and never directly after a meal. If you must walk your dog
during the afternoon, make it short and keep him on the grass
or at the water’s edge when at the beach to protect his paws.
7. If your dog is more susceptible to the heat
there are several products available at petstores like cooling spray, collars and vests.
I have tried and can recommend the cooling collars and vests.
In the rescue we get a lot of dogs in bad condition,
so they need extra care during those hot days.
I always use the cooling bandana’s and vests and they work really well.
8. If possible give them a small pool in the summer
so they can walk in and out and take a quick cool down when needed.
Small pools for children are handy for this purpose.
When you have a real pool (deep water)
never leave your dog alone by the pool,
even when he or she is a good swimmer,
a lot of dogs drown each year in peoples pools when left unattented.
9. Get in house air conditioning,
nowadays there are a lot of affordable options
to cool down the temperature inside the house
to make it more comfortable
for you and your dog during those hot days
10. If you have any doubts about the temperature
don’t take your bulldog out at all.
It’s better to be safe than sorry
Let’s finish this blog with some cute photos of
Bulldogs enjoying the Summer
Do you have more tips on how to keep your dog cool in the summer?