With all the heat and humidity I wanted to make sure the dogs could cool off effectively if they needed to. Usually they love to go in my little garden pond with waterfall, but it is out of commission so I built this yesterday. It’s off my main training yard with multiple gates so I can close it off to the inside and/or give access from the outside. I happened to have a 100 gallon containment tray that has been doing nothing so I cut a hole in it, installed a kitchen drain with stopper and now I have a 100 gallon oasis for the dogs to cool off in! Kiddie pools work great too! On days like this it helps your dogs out tremendously to be able to cool off their bodies. The panting is how they regulate their body temperature.They do not sweat like us. In fact, dogs are very poor at radiating body heat when you combine the fact they are basically only using their tongue’s surface area while the rest of their body is covered in fur. A dog’s brain functions best at 101.5 degrees fahrenheit. They have evolved to make this a priority for survival. This becomes more clear, and amazing, when you learn that a dog’s body temperature can be elevated all the way up to 112 degrees before tissue damage begins to take place. So a dog’s brain can actually be one temperature while their body temperature is much higher.
Another factor to think about is that as the dog gets larger, their ability to radiate off this excess heat only grows in a small, disproportionate amount compared to a smaller dog. It is a simple matter of biology and physics. A bigger dog has more cells and more cells means producing more heat. When you look at the difference between a 50 pound dog and a 100 pound dog, you start to see the proportions starting to warp. The 100 pound dog has a 100% increase in volume and heat storage, but only increases its surface area by around 70%. I didn’t do exact numbers so please don’t hold me to them, but you get the idea. There are also a lot of factors that can make these numbers even more disproportionate such as being overweight, coat length and thickness. All these things contribute to not being able to radiate the excess heat.
So please pay attention to your dogs in hot weather and give them access to drinking water and shade at the very least. If you can provide a place they can actually get themselves wet, that is even better! You can also cut down on the length of the exercise sessions. Maybe do more sessions just shorter throughout the day?
I hope this provides a little insight into why owners should pay attention to their dogs during the hot summer. And why it might be important to pay attention to your larger dogs in particular if you have multiple dogs of varying sizes.
Thank you for reading!