It’s hard enough keeping myself cool in the summer let alone Hula. As you know, Hula’s an English bulldog. You know, one of the Brachycephalic breeds with the smooshed in faces and narrow nostrils, a.k.a. the short-nosed, flat faced dog. Although her anatomy contributes to her cuteness, it can also be very dangerous, especially in the summer where the heat and humidity can make it difficult for these types of dogs to breathe. (Pugs, Frenchies, Boxers and Boston Terriers included.)
All dogs, and especially brachycephalics, can overheat in a matter of minutes, causing heat stroke, respiratory distress and even death.
When Hula and I are out in the warmer, muggy NYC weather (what we like to call “not Bully weather”) there are precautions we take.
For sure, I am the helicopter mom in the neighborhood; as I don’t even like her to socialize with other paw-or people friends in fear she will get too excited and over heat. (Just say the world stick and she goes nuts!)
Like people, all dogs are different and have varying tolerance for the heat. You know your dog best. But, in my opinion, it’s always better to play it safe then be sorry, especially with breeds like Hulas who already may be compromised because of their genetic cuteness—both a blessing and a curse.
Here are some Hula-approved tips to keep your furry pals cool when you’re out and about in the summer heat.
- Go out for walks early before sun comes up and later when sun goes down
- Stick to the shady side of the street
- Limit mid-day walk times (when it is the hottest) to 15-20 min. and save the longer strolls for the evening when the sun goes down.
- Consider having your dog wear a wet t-shirt to keep him cool. Lots of dogs—including Hula—love to sunbathe with their bellies on the warm pavement
- Carry water and stop for water breaks in the shade
- Keep walks close to home
- Be mindful of the hot asphalt on their paws. Protect them by considering shoes or a natural paw wax protector like PawTection from the Natural Dog Company [www.naturaldogcompany.com/product/pawtection-stick/] Remember, when it’s 77 degrees, pavement in the direct sun can feel like 125 degrees or hotter.
Know the signs of Heat Stroke:
- Excessive or loud panting
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent vomiting or diarrhea
- Bright red toung and pale gums
- Body temperature above 103 F