By now, hopefully, you know to never leave a dog in a hot car.
But even when they’re out in the sun, some dogs are impacted more than others.
That’s the message that the BC SPCA is trying to spread because some dogs are more sensitive to hot weather than others.
“On hot humid days it’s best to keep pets inside with plenty of cold water,” writes the organization. “Outdoor exercise and walks are best in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Some dogs don’t know their own limits.”
Here’s a look at a few kinds of dogs that the BC SPCA says are more sensitive during hot summer weather.
Brachycephalic or flat-faced dogs (Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus) suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS). Small nasal openings and long soft palates in their mouths limit airflow, making it difficult for these dogs to get enough air and cool themselves down.
Especially during the summer, it’s important for flat-faced dogs to use a harness while walking — this ensures that their airway isn’t constricted.
BC SPCA also notes that Brachycephalic dogs aren’t very strong swimmers. Many of them will need to tilt their faces up to breathe while swimming, meaning they have to paddle hard to stay afloat.
A dog’s coat works as an insulator and captures air, which in the summer, allows them to deflect heat. The SPCA says never to shave your dog because it can increase their likelihood of heatstroke, a sunburn, and even skin cancer.
Brushing a coat daily, however, and regularly taking a dog to the groomer will help greatly.
Dogs like Labradors, huskies, shepherds, and golden retrievers have double coats. A shorter layer of fur will insulate them and sheds regularly. If their double coat were shaved, it can result in a patchy look, follicle damage, and a loss of protection from the weather.
Overweight or obese dogs are more likely to develop heat-related illnesses due to the increased insulation they receive from fat cells.
For larger breeds, a dog is considered to be a senior when they’re over the age of five. Smaller breed dogs are considered senior when they’re over the age of eight.
Senior dogs are much more sensitive to temperature and sometimes can have underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung diseases.
Puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature as well as adult dogs. They’re also high energy and can overexert themselves on hot days.
Found a dog in a hot car? Here’s what you can do.