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Hot Dogs - behaviour changes in hot weather
Posted on 4th July 2022
At this time of year, our social media feeds are full of advice about not taking your dog out in hot weather.
It's crazy that we have to repeat this year in, year out as people still don't get it, but I think most people are pretty sensible.
So, I thought I would do a quick blog on some of the behaviour changes you may see in your dog in the hotter weather.
This is not designed to replace veterinary care so please seek help if you think your dog is sick, particularly with heat stroke.
Your dog has a loss of appetite
We don't feel like eating the same food when it's hot as we do in cooler weather - cue, bring out the BBQ. We go for salads, ice-cream and refreshing fruits to help us stay hydrated and we need less calories then when it's colder.
Your dog may well go off their food as their appetites decrease. Food left out in hotter weather will spoil quickly, even biscuits so try smaller portions and pick it up if not eaten.
Try adding some alternatives like a filled, frozen kong or icecubes made from blitzed food instead.
Your dog has an increased water intake
Now, of course this makes sense so I am just going to say to keep your dogs' water fresh at all times.
Increased dog zoomies
Zoomies is that crazy time in the evening where your dog runs at full roadrunner speed from one place to another.
During the hotter weather, they are likely to increase this activity as it cools down - often later in the evening - as a way of releasing the energy built up during the day.
Leave them to it and let them have their fun.
Disturbed and increased dog sleep
I sleep the sleep of the dead until I am too hot, then I become really restless and often need to sleep in the day. That's why hotter countries take siestas.
Now, imagine trying to sleep in a fur coat. It's going to be uncomfortable for your dog and they won't want that vet bed or fluffy blanket.
Try a cooling mat or giving them a cool floor to lie on instead and don't be surprised if they wake in the night as they try to get comfy.
Increased dog irritability
Along with the need for more rest and a decrease in appetite, you may notice your dog not wanting to be touched or moved as much, maybe even being snappy and growly if this occurs.
They will certainly want to be handled less and you may see things like not wanting a harness on.
Try and leave your dog alone as much as possible in a heatwave and if you have children around, please give your dog a cool, safe place where they can rest away from the kids.
Some dogs will really be effected, others won't slow down no matter how hot it is. Breeds that will find heat harder include the bradycephalic breeds - Pugs, Bulldogs etc and those who come from cooler climates - Huskies, Malamutes.
If your dog has a double coat, this will trap a layer of cool air against the skin. If your dog is clipped regularly, keep the coat at a manageable length rather than clipping short for the same reason.
I hope this helps, now bring on the sunshine...