My wife and I were a bit clueless about the dangers of heat when we moved to Florida. We knew that it was hot, but we did not realize how quickly an average summer day can become life-threatening for a pet.
Due to the extreme heat in Florida, there are precautions you must take to prevent jeopardizing the life of your pet. Hot sand, heat buildup in the interior of a car, tossing a dog in the back of a pickup and even an innocent walk all present dangerous risks to your pet.
Certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to heat issues. Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs – in short, any squishy faced dog – will have problems in the heat. The smooshie faced breeds are known as “brachycephalic” dogs. Their short noses can’t move in air fast enough nor can they shed heat quickly which means they overheat more quickly than other breeds.
That being said, all breeds are susceptible to heat stroke and related illnesses. Use caution when considering what type of activity you want your dog to participate in and what the potential risks are. The must have check list is to always have cool, not cold, water available. Shade should be readily accessible. And always be aware of the effects of the heat on your dogs and monitor them - it's easy to assume they are feeling just like we do - but they are very different. Wearing a fur coat doesn't help either. Be safe and enjoy the outdoors with your companion animals!
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