Monday, June 20, 2011

Pugs and hot weather: Why the two don't go together

Pugs like Liam need a lot of water in hot weather
Liam having a drink out of his collapsible water dish.
Tomorrow is the first day of summer. Looking outside at our cool, cloudy weather, I am having a bit of difficulty believing that warm weather is on the way. But the forecasters swear we'll hit the 80s tomorrow, so perhaps it's time to prepare.

Especially Liam. 

Pugs and other snub-nosed breeds are prone to overheating. Since their snouts are so short, they can't run air past long, cooling nasal passages. Instead, they pull hot air directly into their bodies, and their temperature climbs incredibly quickly. Dogs don't sweat, so they have few options available to help them get rid of all of this excess heat.

That's why you don't see many pug owners cheerfully greeting the advent of hot weather. When the temperature is in the 70s, we can help our pugs stay outside by providing water and ice chips. But when the temp climbs above 75, we have to stay inside with the air conditioner running. We can't drive our dog to the dog park, for fear that the car trip will be too hot. We can't take an afternoon walk, as panting begins just a block from the house.

So while many people eagerly await the warm weather, I dread it a bit as it means the end of the afternoon walks I take at the end of the workday. Liam is safer, but my exercise routine goes out the window. I suppose everything comes with a sacrifice.

For more information on pugs and heatstroke, click here.