South Florida is home to Huskies, Sheepdogs, Akitas and many other breeds who didn't evolve to thrive in the tropics.
People often wonder how any dog breed with a thick fur coat can manage to stay comfortable in hot and humid summer heat. For anyone living in northern states, the idea of such breeds strolling around Miami Beach is completely unimaginable.
But we do it... better yet, we do it without completely shaving our dogs down for the Summer.
The following list offers 5 tips on keeping all dogs cool in the heat.
1) Fur And Skin Need To Breathe
Olga Savitskaya, one of our two dog groomers, recommends maintaining a clean, conditioned, tangle-free coat. This involves removing the thick undercoat by brushing everyday, while making sure grimy build up gets washed away before it has a chance to insulate heat.
2) Avoid Mid-Day Walks
Make sure your dogs gets plenty of exercise first thing in the morning and again when the sun is setting. Not only will this keep your dogs from over-heating in the afternoon from little activity, it will also tire them out enough to not feel cooped-up throughout the day.
3) Digging Is Natural And Necessary
Dogs all over the world, both wild and domestic, dig into the dirt to keep cool or into the snow to keep warm. Dogs are lucky in this way. Mother Earth provides instant bedding that regulates their internal temperature.
An obvious imperative but one that unfortunately gets overlooked too often. Be sure to carry a water bottle designed for dogs. Overweight dogs and dogs with dark fur are especially susceptible to dehydration.
5) Your Car Is A Pizza Oven For Your Dog
Most of you reading this already know of the tragically high numbers of dogs who cook to death every year from being left in a car on a hot day. If you think that cracking the windows prevents heat stroke, your totally wrong. That said, even just stepping into a hot car is greatly uncomfortable for dogs AND their humans. This is why many South Floridians already know the magic of metallic window shades. Although they won't keep any car cool enough to safely house a dog for even a minute, they will at least keep your empty car cooler which will then help your air conditioner to work even faster.