How will your dog do this summer? These breeds have it the hardest in MS Coast heat waves

Mississippi summers can be unrelenting for us humans — even downright oppressive. Now imagine having to survive four months of 100% humidity with a fur coat or a flat face?

Some dogs have just as hard a time, sometimes harder, adjusting to the hotter months, so these are the breeds you should look out for during the dog days of summer. (I just couldn’t resist).

Here’s which dog breeds are the most intolerable to high temperatures, the symptoms of heat exhaustion to look out for, and the best way to treat your dog’s illness at home.

Which breeds suffer the most during the summer?

  • Boxer - This breed, because of the Brachycephalic (flat-faced) anatomy, rely on panting to regulate their body temperature.

  • Bulldog - One of the more popular breeds of dog in this state, the increased work of breathing in the heat can hinder their regulation.

  • Chow Chow - You can blame this dog’s trouble with heat on its thick coat. Because of the volume of fur, air has a harder time reaching the skin.

  • Pug - Most dogs have long tongues and open noses for a more open cooling area, but pugs have neither, so their cooling area is significantly smaller.

  • Husky - Huskies are one of the least self-aware dogs. Their love of running will keep them going until they just keel over from heat exhaustion.

  • Shih Tzu - Aside from being so low to the ground, these dogs have a double coat of fur that could keep them from cooling down.

What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion in dogs?

Animal Care Clinic Columbus warns pet owners to look out for these symptoms:

  • Excessive panting or difficulty breathing

  • Dehydration, which can include dry nose, lethargy, no urine output, or sunken eyes

  • Excessive drooling

  • Gray, purple or blue gums

  • Shaking

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

  • Dizziness

What should you do to treat your dog at home?

The University of Georgia Research offers some advice about heat safety. Dogs’ normal temperatures run between 100.5 to 102.5 and anything above 103 is considered dangerous.

  • Wet them down with cool water - especially around their ears and paws.

  • Set them in front of a fan.

  • Give them sips of lukewarm or cool - not cold - water, and never ice.

If your dog loses consciousness or you can’t get their temperature or symptoms under control, it’s best to just call your vet.

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