Furballs in the heat?

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Furballs in the heat?

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Old 03-16-2016, 12:17 AM
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Furballs in the heat?

Hi everyone,
I'm not sure this is posted in the right area but thought I would start here...

We're taking our 7 month old Miniature Australian Shepherd out to Palm Springs, CA for the first time. We live in Los Angeles where she takes a daily jog of around 4-6 miles, in addition to playing with her brother, and she seems to do just fine.

We're wondering if we should cut back on exercise or playing in general with the heat (90F). We'll mostly be playing in the pool and running in the grass and sprinklers but she would love to chase the frisbee and golf cart after that gets old.

Our main concern is overheating. She will be well hydrated and given plenty of time to sleep and hangout but what else should we look out for? We're considering doggie shoes and might get her shaved up before we head out but read that shaving her/messing with her undercoat could affect her natural cooling system...

What do you do with your furry friends in the heat?
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:02 AM
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I wouldn't shave her, as double coated breeds' hair may not grow back the same after clipping, and also it provides some insulation against heat as well. I would either go to a DIY grooming facility or have her groomed to make sure that as much loose undercoat as possible is removed. A forced air dryer will help a lot in this endeavor, and is a costly purchase for an owner with one dog, hence my suggestion to take her someplace that has one (whether you do it or pay someone else). If you take her to a groomer, you might ask them about the possibility of shaving just her belly and inner thighs, some people say it helps keep them cool, particularly if they like to lay on cool ground or floor.

I also wouldn't use shoes or booties, as dogs sweat through their paws, and you don't want to inhibit that. I would just avoid sunny areas of pavement during the hot parts of the day.

How much activity is appropriate will depend on her level of fitness and heat tolerance. There's really no way to know until you see how she does. I would try to limit her activity to stuff in/around the water or inside during the heat of the day, and do the other stuff when it's cooler.

One of my dogs has limited heat tolerance, and due to the humidity in my area, I have to take caution even on 70 degree days if he's running around playing. Lots of fetching in the water and swimming, or if he's playing on land, I'll walk him down and have him walk in just so his belly is submerged, then go back to playing on land. On hot days (90+) I wait til evening to do anything other than swimming as he goes from "ok" to "need to cool off right now" very fast. The other is very old now, but when she was younger and active, she could play ball all day long on an 85 degree day, so it just depends on the dog. It sounds like you are attentive and conscientious owners, so you and she should be fine!
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:32 PM
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Deffinitly don't shave her, her double coat help keeps her insulated from heat and cold. It may look hot but it's a good defense from the sun, aussies (and mini's) are herding dogs so their coats are made for them to be able to work in hot and cold weather conditions. Make sure you keep up with her brushing, it helps (I cant remember exactly) keep the coat airated which helps keeps them insulated.
Having a pool and sprinkler available is great, she can cool down and keep hydrated. I would say avoid going out and doing heavy exercise mid day when its the hottest, early in the morning or late in the day are when the its going to be a bit cooler. The important thing is to make sure she stays well hydrated and has plenty of acess to shade, and don't over do it on extra hot days. If your interested you can look into home made summer dog treats (I think they also sell premade cold treats too) that are cold/cool and can be nice from them on hot days, or even a simple ice cube can be nice.
Really what you've said is great, keep a eye out for over heating. Keep her hydrated and has plenty of acess to shade and breaks. Don't over do it, be conscious of the outside temps (try to go out when its cooler).
Remember every dog is different and some deal with the heat better then others. I live in NH but its not uncommon to have summer days in the 90's. I don't do much different with my aussie then what's mentioned above so I think you have a good plan . There are also a bunch of articles you can look into that have a whole bunch of tips and tricks on how be safe in the heat and how the beat the heat/keep your dog cool.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:44 AM
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Also agree, don't shave. The coat helps in the heat as well as in the cold. I would avoid playing at the hottest time in the day. Also maybe look into a type of cool coat. Keeping them wet will help keep their body temperature down as well.
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