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Special Care for Flat-Faced Dogs

Do you or someone you know have a brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog?

Flat-faced breeds have more difficulty breathing and cooling down because of the anatomy of their heads. The design of the head actually allows water to evaporate more quickly off the tongue than it does for the traditionally shaped dog’s head, leaving an inefficient system for the body to cool down.

You may not have known, but they actually require extra special care, especially in the hot summer months.

To prevent your dog from overheating and risking heatstroke, try some of these tips:

  • Walk your dog in the cool of the early morning or late evening and not during midday when the temperatures are the highest.
  • Keep your dog at a healthy weight– extra fat adds more insulation for heat.
  • Limit strenuous exercise and play.
  • This is important for all dogs: Try to stick to shady areas, and consider walking your dog through a grassy (or dirt or gravel) park rather than the hot asphalt on the really hot days. We don’t always remember, because we’re wearing shoes, but hot asphalt can burn poor pups’ paw pads.
  • Provide a cool, shady spot for your dog to spend the hot hours of the day.
  • Be sure your dog has plenty of cool, fresh water throughout the day.
  • Never leave your dog in the car; even on a 70° day, temperatures inside the car can reach over 100°!

Got more tips to keep hot dogs cool? Share them in the comments!

*Photo from Crystal M. via Trupanion’s Facebook page.

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