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Caring for Your Brachycephalic Pup in Summer Paw Print

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Caring for Your Brachycephalic Pup in Summer

Our furry friends don’t cool off like we do because they do not sweat.   They mainly rely on panting to beat the heat, and for our short-nosed buddies like Bulldogs or Pugs, things can get a bit tricky in the warmth. Not only do their tiny noses struggle to take in enough air, the nasal conchae  (nose bones) often can’t function they way they are meant to in these stubby-nosed breeds. To add to the challenge, they might face issues like elongated soft palates, oversized tonsils, inside-out laryngeal saccules, and tongues that are a bit too big.

Unlike their longer-nosed dog breeds who can cope more easily with the heat, these adorable pups have a bit of a tougher time catching their breath. Hot and humid weather? Not their best friend.

So, if you’ve got a short-snout dog and want some tricks to keep them cool and content when the temperature rises, keep reading

Keep them Inside in the Airconditioning

When the temperate climbs beyond 20 degrees, it’s crucial to bring your snub-nosed furry companion indoors.  Since dogs don’t sweat, relying on fans won’t help to cool them down through evaporation or air circulation. That’s why establishing a chill, air-conditioned haven indoors is key to ensuring their well-being.

Alternatives to Walking your Dog in Summer

While your four-legged pal still needs some exercise and playtime, it’s wise to plan your walks when the day is cooler – either in the early mornings or late evenings. If the temperature goes beyond 20°C or the humidity rises, take care, your dog might find it challenging. Instead of the usual walk, consider engaging them in indoor foraging and training activities with the comfort of air conditioning. It’s a fun way to keep them entertained without putting extra strain on their breathing.

Make Sure Water is Always Available

Make sure their water bowls are always topped up with cool, fresh water. Another trick to keep them hydrated is by giving them more water in their meals. If they munch on dry food (which isn’t very wet), you can up their water game by mixing in wet foods that are super watery or just adding some water to their dry kibble.

Manage their Weight

Keeping all dogs in good shape is super important, and it’s even more crucial for our short-nosed buddies. If your pup is carrying some extra weight, it can make that squishy part in the back of their throat a bit thicker, increasing the risk of choking. Given their snug nose passages, the extra pounds make it tricky for them to breathe, especially in the heat. Moving around becomes a bit of a challenge too, putting extra pressure on their breathing.

If your dog is carrying extra weight and need tips on getting them trim and healthy, feel free to reach out for some friendly advice!

Alternatives to Swimming

Swimming is not safe for your cute short-nosed buddy because of their unique skull shape and airways. But you can still treat them to a cool oasis with a small clam shell pool, easy to get for around $12 at places like Bunnings. Just fill it with ankle-deep water, throw in some toys, and watch them have a refreshing splash session. 

Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Watch out for signs like your pup panting a lot with a big smile, feeling extra tired, not wanting to get up, eating less, or throwing up more. These signs might mean they’re having trouble breathing, especially when it’s hot. Sadly, we often see these cases at the hospital, and they can get worse quickly, turning into serious and life-threatening situations. It’s tough to see them go through it

So there you have it – a few tips to make sure your brachycephalic short-snout friend has a fantastic summer.  Let’s make this summer a cool, safe, and enjoyable one for your furry family members!

Did you know that there is now surgery available for short nosed breeds to help them breathe easier?

If you’d like to find out if your pup may be vulnerable to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), our sister clinic in Mitcham has some information about the symptoms to look out for, click here .

Or if you are interested in learning about life-changing airway enhancing BOAS surgery for shorter nosed breeds that is being performed right now at our sister clinic in Mitcham, click here

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