Texas springs and summers can bring some very real challenges for dog owners with brachycephalic breeds like Boxers, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Pugs, Frenchies, and Boston terriers. Because of these pooches’ short skull shape and nose, they usually have a reduced ability to inhale causing them to overheat more easily than longer-nosed breeds. As a result, these short-nosed dogs tend to become more vulnerable to life-threatening heat related problems like heat stroke.
Hot Weather Safety Tips and Guidelines
1. Provide lots of fresh, clean water to drink. Always see to it that there’s cool drinking water available for your dog. If your short-nosed pooch spends some time outside, make sure that there’s enough water to drink there, too. Keep the water bowl shaded so the water stays cool and secured so it doesn’t overturn.
2. Keep your dog inside. The moment temperatures intensify and humidity increases, you’ll need to keep your pet inside your house. Your short-faced pooch can quickly succumb to the harmful elements if left out in the open during hot weather.
3. Use cooling mats, fans, or air-conditioning equipment. There are many cooling mats for pooches found in the market today. Or, you can make your own by simply freezing water in a hot water bottle or sturdy zipper bag and then wrapping it well using a heavy towel. Just put it in Fido’s bed so he can stay cool this summer. Having a fan going in front of him while at home, or turning the air-conditioner on him when he’s in your car, will help in keeping your dog from getting overheated.
4. Provide a kiddie pool. Lots of dog owners with pets that are intolerant of heat provide kiddie pools for their short-faced pups to use when they are outdoors during summertime. Just ensure that the pool is situated well in the shade, and try to replace the water as often as necessary once it gets too warm.
5. Change Fido’s exercise schedule. Some short-faced dogs run the risk of becoming overweight, so calling his daily walks off during summer is not a healthy solution to deal with his heat intolerance. Instead, try walking your pooch when the sun is not as bright, either early in the morning or later in the evening.
6. Take a break. Be careful when going out for exercise with your dog, particularly during hot or humid weather conditions. Once your pooch seems to start breathing heavily or making extra noises while gasping for air, it’s time to rest and cool down. Dogs tend to overheat so much faster than us, so short-faced dogs like your pup may only be able to put up with a few minutes of physical stimulation before becoming seriously stressed by the summer heat.