These dogs need extra attention in the sudden heatwave

Szénási Szimonetta

2024. April 24 - Photos: Love My Dogz

Some breeds tolerate even moderately higher temperatures much worse. If the owner is not careful, they may need medical attention.


Now that the (certainly temporary) summer has unexpectedly arrived, and the heat records are being broken, it’s important to follow the summer protocol rather than the spring one. Even though it’s spring, temperatures in the 30s mean that you need to pay extra attention to your pet’s water intake, avoid direct exposure to strong sunlight and interrupt walks when you think it needs it. Particularly in the case of flat-faced breeds, more attention is warranted, as their anatomy makes them even less resistant to heat. For them, even the warm spring weather can be a challenge, let alone above 30 degrees Celsius temperatures.

Short-nosed dogs, such as French bulldogs, are more sensitive to heat / Photo: Love My Dogz

The curse of anatomy

As previously detailed by Dr. Luvszandagva Jargalsajhan, better known as Dr. Zsargal, an expert on brachycephalic dog breeds in this article, the anatomy of these dogs results in a number of health problems. They have a narrow nasal passage and trachea and an elongated soft palate, which, among other things, cause upper airway constriction (BOAS).

The short-nosed breeds

A brachycephalic, or flat-faced breeds include the French and the English bulldogs, the pug and the German boxers but there are brachycephalic-likedogs as well, such as the shih-tzu, the Pekingese, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but we could also mention the lhasa apso or the bullmastiff.

For these dogs, even temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius cause visible symptoms such as increased panting, loud breathing and a significantly higher incidence of heatstroke.

For this reason, even now, in this unusually warm weather, they need to be very carefully looked after. And during the real heatwave. everything must be done to make their daily lives more comfortable. By this we mean the provision of air-conditioned rooms, well-timed and low-intensity walks, ensuring a constant supply of fluids. And needless to say, we don’t leave people or dogs in a locked car, even with the windows wide open! Their lives can literally depend on minutes.

Boxers also need more attention

The heatwave is taking its toll on everyone

During the heatwave, it’s not just these dogs that need to be watched out for: heatstroke in any breed can be fatal. For this reason, if you experience any of the following symptoms, start cooling your pet immediately and contact your vet. Quick help is a lifesaver!

Symptoms of heatstroke (can occur together or separately):

  • dilated pupils;
  • accelerated panting, rapid breathing;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhoea;
  • rapid heartbeat;
  • red tongue, pale gums;
  • thickened saliva;
  • dizziness;
  • tremor, twitching;
  • fainting, coma.
brachycephalic dog bullmasztiff English bulldog French bulldog German boxer heat lhasa apso Pekingese short-nosed dog si-cu summer summer hazards warm

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