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Ask the Vet: Dogs and Hot Weather

dog in hot weather

While summer is technically drawing to a close warm weather is still a constant source of annoyance across the nation. So we sat down with our very own Dr. Olaf Hansen to ask him about keeping your pup cool!


Q: Can excessive heat be bad for my dogs?

A: Dogs like many other animals can have issues as temperatures go up. They are covered in fur which of course can get hot and unlike humans don’t sweat so it can be hard for them to regulate their body heat so it falls on us their owners to help them keep cool


Q: What can I do to help my dog in the summer?

A: One of the main things is to make sure your dog has plenty of water when it is outside, cool water not only cools your dog down, but it keeps it’s mouth moist since it can dry out with all of that panting. The shade is also important for your dog, being away from the sun can do a lot to keep them cool. You should also consider not leaving them outside that long, bringing them into a cool home every so often is a good idea.


Q: Should I shave my dog in the summer?

A: To be honest, I don’t really know if shaving a dog’s coat has a tangible benefit on helping them cool off.  To humans like us, it SEEMS like it does, you look at their heavy coat and it just looks like it would be hot, but it may not be so to the dog. Breeds that lose their heavier coat after the colder months do so to not overheat, so make sure you groom those dogs regularly to help with the shedding.


Q: Is it a bad idea to exercise my dog in the summertime?

A: It is always a good idea to keep your dog active even when it is hot out. While it makes sense to worry about them overheating in the summer you can plan for that by simply bringing a water bowl with you when it is hot out. Or just make sure not to be out for too long. Warm weather doesn’t change your dogs need to stay active!


Q: Are bugs more of a concern in the warmer months?

A: Fleas and Ticks are almost always active in these warmer months but one of the bigger risks can be mosquitoes. If you live in an area with a lot of mosquitoes, as we have here in Nebraska or states with a lot of water mosquitoes can be at their peak when the weather is very hot and they can suck your dog’s blood and transmit diseases and other parasites. We recommend using a flea and tick treatment that repels mosquitoes as well in the warm months. Our Activate II line for instance.



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