Living in the South with all the hot weather in the summer can be an extremely dangerous time for your Poodle. Dogs don’t handle the heat as well as humans do. We’re able to stay outside quite a long time enjoying the heat and soaking up the sun. Our way of cooling down is to sweat. Dogs cool themselves by panting, which is often inadequate and can place them in a life-threatening situation if they become overheated.
Dogs can develop heatstroke quite quickly. Just going on your normal walk or letting your dog play in the yard is enough to get your Poodle overheated. The best time for walking your Poodle or for playtime during hot weather is in the early morning or evening.
Never leave you Poodle in the car unattended during hot weather. It doesn’t take long for it to turn into an oven, even if you leave the windows open a little. If my husband and I are in the car with the dogs and we need to go to the store, one of us stays in the car with the air conditioner on with the dogs.
If your Poodle’s hair is long, it is more susceptible to overheating. If your dog is overweight, has heart disease, is old, or a young puppy, they can get heatstroke easier as well. If you’re not showing your Poodle, having it clipped in a nice short summer clip will make it feel more comfortable during hot weather.
Try to stay off hot pavement during hot weather. It can burn your dog’s feet as well as raise its body temperature faster. Check the temperature of the pavement with your hand. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your Poodle! Try to walk in the shade or on the grass.
If your Poodle is kept outside during the day, make sure it has plenty of shade. Our kennel has a roof and shade cloth all around it. It is also situated under shade trees.
Make sure your Poodle is provided with lots of clean drinking water. Our kennel has an automatic water dish. If you’re traveling with your dog, bring plenty of water along.
Some Poodles like to play in water. You may want to get one of those plastic wading pools for it to play in. My Poodle Bob, likes to bite at the water coming out of the sprinklers! Make sure they are supervised before doing either of these activities.
Recognizing Heat Stroke
Be alert to your Poodle’s body temperature during hot weather. A dog’s normal temperature is around 101 degrees, much over that can cause problems and is an emergency! If it gets up to 108 degrees, the internal organs start breaking down and can cause permanent long-term damage or death!
If your dog starts breathing rapidly, has a rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, nose and gums that turn dull grey or red, these are signs of heatstroke. You need to cool your Poodle down immediately, by putting him in a tub of cool water or cooling him off with the hose, then get to the vet fast! Your Poodle can still be in danger even if he looks OK on the outside.
By following the advice above, you and your Poodles can have a fun and safe summer season!