As the days lengthen and the temperatures start to rise, many dog owners take advantage of the warmer weather and go on longer walks with their canine companions. However, it’s important to exercise caution. 

All dog breeds can suffer from heatstroke, but some are more susceptible than others. 

Brachycephalic breeds, for example, have shorter nasal passages and find it hard to regulate their body temperature. Dogs with heavy coats are also at increased risk, as they have difficulty shedding excess heat. The five breeds below are known to be particularly susceptible to heatstroke.

As a result, care should be taken when exercising these dogs in hot weather. By providing plenty of water and shade and avoiding strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day, you can help to keep your dog safe and cool.

Chow Chow 

Chow Chows are a breed of dog that is especially prone to heatstroke. Two main factors contribute to this: a heavy double coat and a shortened muzzle. Chow Chows are classified as a brachycephalic breed and are an incredible 17 times more likely to develop heatstroke than a Labrador. 

Chow Chows are also prone to obesity and heart problems, which are two other factors that can exacerbate their ability to handle hot temperatures.

If you own a Chow, you should exercise them sparingly in the summer months. Take them a couple of short walks early in the morning or after the sun goes down. There are a number of exercises for different breeds, and its all about finding the right one for your breed of dog. Some can play games indoors like tug of war, whilst others may need interactive toys to provide mental stimulation.

French Bulldog 

These little dogs are adorable; however, over the years, breeding has resulted in them having increasingly squished faces. Whilst this looks incredibly cute, it presents many health issues and Frenchies are highly prone to suffering from heatstroke when the temperatures rise.  

French Bulldogs shouldn’t be walked in the midday heat; in fact, it may be better to omit their daily walks altogether on some days. If you do need to take them out, keep them on lead to avoid them running about, keep to shaded areas, perhaps a nearby wooded area and take along some water 

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are prone to heatstroke for a variety of reasons. First, they have a thick double coat that helps to insulate them against cold weather. However, this same coat can trap heat and cause the dog to overheat in warm weather. 

Additionally, Golden Retrievers are an overactive breed, and their high level of activity can lead to overheating, so it’s vital if you do take them for a walk to keep them on a leash.  

Finally, many Golden Retrievers are overweight, which increases the risk of heatstroke. For these reasons, it is important to take care when exercising your Golden Retriever in hot weather and ensure that they have plenty of access to water.

Pug

Pugs are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a short face. This results in an elongated soft palate, which can cause an obstruction when breathing. They also have a narrow windpipe, which makes their breathing laboured. 

Additionally, their short, narrow nasal passages mean that air doesn’t have a chance to cool down when breathed in. Furthermore, this breed is often overweight, which in turn doesn’t do them any favours in hot weather. 

Unfortunately, all of these factors make pugs susceptible to heatstroke. Heatstroke is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated immediately, so give those long walks in summer a miss or take Fido for a short stroll at dawn. 

Dogue De Bordeaux 

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large breed of dog, and as such, they are at a higher risk for heatstroke. This is due to their large body size and short snout. In fact, Mastiffs are the largest breeds classed as brachycephalic. 

Their bodies are not able to cool themselves as efficiently as other breeds, and they are more likely to suffer from heat exhaustion. Puppies especially are at high risk for heatstroke, as they have not yet developed the ability to regulate their body temperature. 

If you own a Dogue de Bordeaux, taking extra precautions in hot weather is essential. Ensure they have access to shade and plenty of water and avoid walking them during the hottest part of the day. 

Signs of Heatstroke 

Heatstroke occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises above 106 degrees. If you have a dog that can’t handle the heat, watch out for the signs below, as they may indicate your pup is overheating.

  • Excessive panting 
  • Dry or sticky gums, 
  • Lethargy
  • Becoming disorientated 
  • Vomiting 
  • Seizures 

When is the Best Time to Walk your Dog in Hot Weather? 

Walking your dog in hot weather can be challenging, but there are a few things you can do to make it more enjoyable for both of you. The best time to walk your dog in hot weather is early in the morning before the sun gets too high in the sky. This will help avoid the hottest part of the day and give both of you a chance to cool down before evening. 

If possible, keep your walks short and don’t allow your dog to join in excessive play or running. This will help to prevent overheating and depletion of energy levels. 

Remember to bring plenty of water for both of you to stay hydrated

Things you Can do to Keep Your Dog Cool? 

Taking your dog for a walk is a great way to get some exercise, but it’s important to make sure your furry friend doesn’t overheat. 

One way to keep your dog cool is to invest in a cooling jacket or bandana. These products use evaporative cooling to lower your dog’s body temperature and can be a lifesaver on hot days. 

Another thing to keep in mind is always taking plenty of water for both you and your dog. And if possible, try to take routes that include more shaded areas or even a dip in a river or lake. By taking a few simple precautions, you can make sure your dog stays safe and comfortable on walks all summer long.

Conclusion 

Summertime means hot weather and for many people, that also means taking their beloved dog along on walks. However, before you head out into the sweltering heat, it’s important to be aware of the breeds of dogs who are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke. 

Dogs with short snouts, like pugs and bulldogs, as well as those with thick coats, such as Golden Retrievers, can quickly become overheated if proper precautions aren’t taken.

If you live in a warm climate or the temperatures are soaring during your walk time, take extra care to walk your dog during the coolest parts of the day or miss out on the walk altogether. And remember, if you even suspect that your dog has heatstroke get them to a vet ASAP. It could make the difference between life and death.