With the recent wave of hot weather, it is important to realise that high temperatures and Pugs do not mix.
The hot weather is dangerous for short-nosed dog breeds such as pugs. Due to their short noses and smaller air passages, Pugs cannot release heat or cool air.
Because of this, it is essential that owners plan their Pug’s outside play and walks to avoid the high temperatures and to ensure the Pug’s safety and health during the warmer weather.
Pugs are not outdoor dogs; therefore, the amount of time they are outdoors must be monitored. Ideally, they should not be outside in hot temperatures for any longer than 10-15 minutes.
Pugs are infamous for lying outside, seeming as if they are enjoying the sun and the heat. This is not true and owners should not be fooled by this behaviour.
Pugs do not know any better. It is the owner’s responsibility to bring the Pug inside where it is cooler.
To make sure your Pug stays healthy during the warmer weather, there are many steps owners can take to prevent Pugs from becoming ill or suffering.
Heat Stroke (Hyperthermia)
When a Pug has been exposed to hot temperatures and there is suspected heat stroke, it is vital that the owner acts immediately. Heat stroke in a Pug is an emergency and can be fatal in as little time as ten minutes.
Signs of a heat stroke, which owners should be aware of include:
- heavy panting
- profuse salivation
- a rapid pulse
- very red gums/tongue
- lack of coordination
- reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
- loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances
If any of these symptoms occurs, you should move the Pug to a cooler area immediately and call your vet.
You may be instructed by your vet to soak your Pug’s body with cool water (it is important the water is not very cold as this can cause the Pug to go into shock) and attempt to find a fan with a direct air flow.
If it essential that you rehydrate your Pug before take him to the vet for further treatment if symptoms persist or if his temperature is too high.
A Pug’s normal body temperature should be between 101°F and 102°F. To measure your Pug’s body temperature, you should use a rectal thermometer.
No Pugs inside parked cars
This point may seem obvious to owners. It is important that Pugs are not left unattended in a car, regardless of the circumstances.
Although the temperature inside the car may not feel that hot, cars can heat up very quickly which will cause serious damage and may lead to death for Pugs. Even on a cool day, the temperature inside a car can rise quickly.
In the UK, the law states that if a dog suffers or dies as a result of being left in a hot car, the owner (or caregiver) can be prosecuted for neglect and/or cruelty under the animal welfare laws. Successful prosecution for neglect or cruelty can lead to prison, fines and a ban from owning animals in the future.
Keeping your Pug healthy in the warmer weather
During the hot weather, how can a Pug exercise?
A Pug can still go for walks during the higher temperatures. However, it is important that the walks are either early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is cooler.
There are cool collars available to purchase online which you should put on you Pug before taking him in a car or for a walk. If your Pug must be in the heat, there are also cooling vests available to purchase.
One way to keep your Pug cool is to take him for a daily swim. Pugs will enjoy this, although ensure that they have a safety vest on before letting them in the water.
Due to this being an outdoor activity, it is important to remember that Pugs can get sunburn. You can buy sunscreen for your Pug. Remember to research which type of sunscreen will work best for your Pug, as not all sunscreens are the same.
If you take your Pug to the beach, beware that hot sand can be just as dangerous as a hot pavement for your Pug’s paws. When walking your Pug, take into consideration the temperature of the surface your Pug is walking on.
It is important to always carry cool water when you go out with your Pug and to ensure that the water dish in the house is always full.
Pugs rely on their owners to keep the safe and cool during the hot months. Make sure your Pug stays healthy and cool this summer.
It is important to remember that it is easier to prevent hyperventilating than it is to stop it.