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How to keep your dog cool when temperatures get hot

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As a pet owner, here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: If it’s too hot outside for you, then it’s way too hot for your dog.

Jason Nicholas, veterinarian and chief medical officer at Preventive Vet, says once weather hits 80 degrees Fahrenheit (which seems like Antarctica compared to last week’s 100-plus degree heat wave), pet owners should start taking precautions. Nicholas says he’s seen far too many cases of dogs with heatstroke, a deadly, but completely preventable, condition.

Why can't dogs handle the same weather that humans can? As much as the guy with long blonde hair may look like his similarly-styled Afghan hound, dogs and humans are separate species with much different tolerances to temperature. We have the luxury of being swathed in a massive, perspiring organ that cools us from head to toe. But dogs' thick fur coats make it harder for them to get rid of heat.

Instead of sweating, the main way a dog lowers its body temperature is through panting. These heavy, quick breaths expel heat and cause moisture to evaporate, which cools the blood in the mouth and tongue. However, certain conditions make this technique ineffective. In high humidity, evaporation happens more slowly—which means that even in a nice, shady refuge, no amount of panting will bring down a dog’s internal temperature.

Read more: https://www.popsci.com/keep-dogs-cool

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