Dogs make it very obvious when they want something, and this summer many of us will know exactly when they’re just about ready to get out of the sun.
Short-muzzled (or brachycephalic) dogs are more susceptible to heat exhaustion than any other breed, and there are 33 in total.
According to Michael Davis, D.V.M. from Oklahoma State University, short-muzzled dogs are at higher risk because of their airway anatomy. “Dogs rely on their respiratory tract to dissipate metabolic heat,” he says, a process that is hampered in short-muzzled breeds.
They also have an excess of overlying soft tissue, which compromises their ability to take in air. In hot weather, their innefective panting actually generates more heat in their bodies.
Dr. Tony Johnson from the the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine says that prevention is key. He says to “remember to keep these dogs in a cool environment and always watch out for heat exhaustion.”
Last year, vice president of the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Dr. Louise Murray, said the top eight short-muzzled pups prone to heat exhaustion were: the Pug, Pekinese, Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, Boxer, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Double-coated dogs can also be prone to heat exhaustion, and surprisingly, it’s not because of their excess of fur.
Owners are often tempted to shave their very furry pups during the summer to help keep them cool, but Dr. Louise Murray says, “Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating.”
Although many double-coated breeds don’t experience the same tracheal issues that short-muzzled dogs do, shaving their heavy coats can greatly increase their chances of heat exhaustion.
Find out if your pup is one of the “Puff Daddies of the Dog World” here!
To save your pup from becoming a hot dog, always make sure to keep him or her hydrated, closely monitored, out of hot cars, and never too far from an AC unit!