We have been hearing of dogs dying all over Egypt. And it’s not only the stray dogs that are dying, which would be understandable as they do not always have the option to find a cool place or even just some fresh water. But it is domesticated dogs that die on daily basis. And it’s no weird virus, it is simply the humidity and the heat.
It is extremely hot these days and temperatures in the sun could rise above 50ºC. To try to imagine how a dog perceives the heat, wear a coat and go sit for a short while outdoors in the sun. In particular during such hot days, if possible please keep your dogs indoors, in a cool and well ventilated area. Many people put ceiling fans in their rooms. However, when experts were asked ‘does a ceiling fan cool a room?’, it was found that, while a ceiling fan can cool people down in a room, they do not actually cool a room down. For this reason, it may be better to install air conditioning instead of a ceiling fan.
If your dog has to be outside, please follow these guidelines:
Provide sufficient Shade and plenty of Water
Provide large quantities of cool water, if possible add some ice-cubes from time to time and make sure the water is and will not be in the sun at a later point. You can add another water bowl in case one finishes or unintentionally gets knocked over. Make sure your dog is well protected from the heat at all times and is in a well ventilated area with constant air flow. A dog house
Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow.
A doghouse DOES NOT provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse. It prevents the air flow and traps the heat inside.
Consider the Humidity
According to Dr. Barry Kellogg, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, “It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.”
Ways to make it a bit more bearable for your Dog
Provide wet towel in the shade for your dog to lay down on. Open sprinklers and let your dog get wet. Hose your dog down with some water, don’t ignore the lower belly part as dogs cool more from the bottom. Provide cold snacks such as a cool yogurt or frozen peanut butter treats.
Dogs with a heavy long coat might need to get their coat trimmed during hot summer times. Most vets also offer grooming services. Yet watch out not to shorten it too much as it serves as a protection from harmful sunbeams. Brush your dog often to remove excess hair.
Read about Heatstroke in Dogs, cause, symptoms and prevention here.