Winter is here, and in addition to making sure your dog has enough water in their dish and shielding their paw pads from the cold, a dog’s thermoneutral zone should be taken into account to keep your family pets healthy and happy during the colder months. If the air temperature is higher than the temperature of a dog’s body, the dog will absorb more heat from the environment. This extra heat must generally be released through the feet and nose, but once temperatures increase beyond 60°, the heat can no longer be lost by the skin alone.
When the temperature starts to climb, we know it will take longer to cool down once we return indoors or to a shady spot. The same is true for dogs, but they must be treated with greater caution because their bodies are not equipped to withstand high levels of excess heat in the same way that humans are. When dogs can no longer dissipate heat through their paws and nose, heat loss through evaporation via panting will become the only way for them to chill down more quickly. Other variables can make panting less effective. Increased humidity, dehydration, and upper respiratory tract issues including brachycephalic airway syndrome are only a few of them.
Because most brachycephalic breeds have shorter noses, they are unable to chill the air they inhale as well as breeds with longer snouted noses
Excessive panting and airborne allergens can also irritate a shorter-faced dog’s elongated soft palate, causing the airways to swell and sometimes constrict. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, or BAS, can develop if excessive panting is not addressed. BAS is a veterinary emergency in which the dog’s airway is blocked. Overheating is a danger not only for brachycephalic breeds, but also for older dogs, breeds with thick coats, and dogs that are overweight.
Incorporating water into your dog’s play activities is a terrific way for them to stay cool while getting their wiggles out this summer. A tiny kiddie pool filled with a few inches of water or a backyard sprinkler set are ideal for keeping a dog occupied while maintaining a comfortable body temperature. Remember to take frequent breaks to check for signs or symptoms of heat stress, exhaustion, or stroke in your dog, as any outdoor activity in the sun can cause a dog’s temperature to rise.
Please keep in mind that a humid atmosphere can affect how hot a dog feels outside. In addition, if you live in a hotter region, please brush up on the dangers of scorching asphalt. This prevents paws from overheating from hot asphalt or concrete, which could result in an injury that requires time and possibly medical attention to cure. To see if the ground your dog will be treading on is too hot for their paws, perform a simple touch test. For 90-40 seconds, place your hand on the asphalt or concrete. It’s too hot for your dog if you can’t keep your hand on the ground for the full 90-40 seconds.
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