Lifestyle

Important to help keep dogs cool in the summer heat

Good to remember that your dog may not be able to cool as fast as you can.
Good to remember that your dog may not be able to cool as fast as you can.

YEARS ago we installed an evaporative air conditioner on our roof.

It was the kind where water is pumped over mesh pads while a fan blows air from the outside into the house.

I'm told they work much better in less humid environments out west, and it was still only adequate at best compared to a proper heat pump type air conditioner we have now.

What got me thinking about this was a couple of comments by my clients about their dogs "throwing in the towel" on longish walks lately, and a very sad case where a poor dog had his whole tongue torn out in a fight with another larger dog. It was awful!

That unfortunate and otherwise uninjured dog had to be euthanised because a dog cannot live without its tongue, one of whose many functions is as the dog's evaporative cooling air-conditioner.

Not only is the canine tongue a ladle for scooping fluids, a receptor for gustatory sensation, a swab for cleaning wounds and a grooming implement, it is also, perhaps most critically, an organ of cooling.

Along with lolling in that peculiarly canine way, the tongue can engorge with blood and so increase the surface area available for evaporative cooling pretty much like my old rooftop air-conditioner.

Instead of the fan we have the movement of air across the tongue back and forth by panting.

Like any air-conditioning system it has its limits, and potentially fatal heat stroke can ensue when the cooling system is overloaded.

Remember that dogs have no sweat glands so can't perspire like us.

So just imagine covering yourself completely in cling-wrap (stay with me here), so your sweat can't evaporate, then putting on a fur coat.

Now go for a walk in the hot sun. Hopefully you will have been arrested for deviant behaviour before you collapsed from heat stroke.

The take home message here is to remember that your dog may not be able to cool as fast as you can on hot days.

Wetting them down all over before a walk will help, as will waiting till the cooler early or late hours.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  animals, lifestyle, pets, summer, vet, weather




REVEALED: The Lismore group behind highway sign stunt

Greens mayoral candidate Vanessa Grindon-Ekins at Lismore and Villages sign at Hinterland Way

"This is only the beginning", the group has warned

CCTV footage opens new leads in Sabrina Bremer murder case

Leaked CCTV footage shows a man getting out of the car Logan woman Sabrina Bremer was last seen alive in.

Leaked footage shows a man abandoning a white sedan

LATEST: Minor flood warning issued as rain sets in

RAIN RADAR: The latest rain radar from the Bureau of Meteorology shows further rain is on its way to Northern NSW throughout the coming hours.

UPDATE: Areas close to the border copping the most rain.

Latest deals and offers

Blac Chyna sued after car injured 2 women

Blac Chyna is being sued after her friend crashed into another car

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Chris Hemsworth surprises kids at hospital as Thor

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston surprised children at hospital

Single-day tickets on sale for each date of Falls Festival

LAUNCH: The Avalanches' Robbie Chater and Tony Diblasi were the official DJs at the Byron Bay launch of Falls Festival 2016/17.

Find out when is each artist playing this year in Byron Bay

MOVIE REVIEW: War Dogs tells a fascinating true story

Miles Teller and Jonah Hill in a scene from the movie War Dogs.

DARKLY funny film examines the business side of the war on terror.

Marvel-ous: Thor actors visit sick kids at Lady Cilento

Stars of Thor: Ragnarok dropped in on patients at the hospital

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep