Your Dachshund Is At Risk For Heatstroke This Summer
Dachshunds enjoy napping in the warm sunshine. They literally melt like butter. They could lay there for hours without complaint if you let them. It’s our duty to limit the amount of time our doxies are exposed to the sun to avoid heatstroke.
I discovered some interesting reasons Why Your Dachshund Is At Risk For Heatstroke This Summer and some helpful prevention tips too.
What is Heatstroke?
Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s body temperature can’t be regulated because it is too high. If your dog spends too much time in the hot summer heat, he is at risk for heatstroke. Heatstroke is very dangerous, and when this condition is not treated, your dog’s organs will shut down and they can die.
What Causes Heatstroke in Dogs?
Dogs don’t sweat like humans do. Their skin doesn’t perspire because of their insulated fur coat. Their coats keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Dogs only have sweat glands in their paw pads and ear canals.
Your Dachshund will pant to cool off. When your dog inhales, it picks up moisture from his wet nose. That moisture traps the heat produced from his body and then is exhaled out through his mouth.
Panting helps your pup release extra body heat and maintain a comfortable temperature.
When temperatures are too high, panting can’t cool them down fast enough, which causes heatstroke.
Note: Dogs with flat faces (like pugs) can’t tolerate high temperatures and aren’t cooled by panting. Find out why flat-faced Dogs are High Risk for Heatstroke.
Why Do Dachshunds Overheat Easily?
They Love To Be Warm
Since Dachshunds love laying in the warm sunshine, they can get overheated fast…which makes them at risk for heatstroke. Don’t let your doxie get too hot and take them inside to cool down often.
In my home, my dachshund will literally hunt for that special sunny spot near a window for a cozy nap. At least inside, we have air conditioning to keep him cool and out of the extreme heat.
Dachshunds are natural born hunters and they are famous for intense digging. They love to dig down deep to catch those little moles that hide in your backyard. Make sure to take you dachshund inside periodically to get a cool drink and cool down. They can accidentally overdo it without knowing it. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
The Dachshund dog breed is prone to being overweight. That extra fat can cause them to overheat quickly. It acts as an insulation and can heat up really fast. Dachshunds who are obese are less energetic and tend to act more tired. The extra weight can make it harder for them to breath, which can also cause overheating.
If your Dachshund needs some help losing those extra pounds, check out our How To Keep Your Dachshund Healthy Post.
If your Dachshund has any issues with their Thyroid, they will be more prone to overheating and heatstroke. The thyroid is in charge of regulating their internal body temperature. If they have a thyroid issue, it is best to keep them out of the heat.
Coat Thickness & Color
If you have a long-hair, black-colored Dachshund, they are more at risk of overheating than a light-colored doxie. This is because of their fur thickness and dark color.
The color black absorbs all light and heat. The darker the doxie, the hotter the doxie.
Now, on the other hand, having a lighter or whiter dachshund can have it’s cons as well. My dachshund, Eko, is pictured below. He is more at risk for sunburn because he is white and has short, thin fur. I had to learn How To Protect My Dachshund From The Sun.
Symptoms of Heatstroke
Knowing the signs of heatstroke can save your dog’s life. Cool your dog down ASAP if you notice any of these symptoms. This is pretty scary…many signs of heatstroke may not occur until days after your sunny outdoor excursions.
Early Symptoms of Heatstroke:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive Drooling
- Rapid Breathing
- Bright Red Tongue and Gums
- Disorientation, off balance
- Dry Skin
Advanced Signs of Heatstroke:
- Not Moving
- Noisy Breathing
- Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control
- White or Blue Gums
Here is a Helpful YouTube Video from Our Pets Health: How To Cool A Dog Down Quickly
How to Prevent Heatstroke
Heatstroke is serious and deadly! The best way to keep your pup safe is prevention. Here are some great ways to help keep your Dachshund Safe in the Summer Heat.
Always provide plenty of cool water for your Dachshund indoors and outdoors. They lose a heavy amount of fluid through panting and they need to stay hydrated to stay cool.
Take a water bottle with you on your hikes or walks. Take several water breaks in the shade to avoid dehydration.
Off Peak Activities
You can prevent Heatstroke and Dehydration by taking walks and playing during the cooler parts of the day. Keep exercise to a minimum when it’s hot outside.
Plan your outside doggie activities before and after peak sunshine time (10 am – 4 pm).
Also, walk or play at a slower pace. Your dog can overheat quickly if they overdo it.
Dachshunds really give it their all. They could keep walking or playing fetch for hours, they just don’t know when to quit. Set a timer and make sure they take breaks to cool off inside or in the shade.
Help your Dachshund stay healthy this summer. Avoid feeding your Dachshund food scraps or unhealthy treats. Take walks, but don’t overdo it. Feed them a healthy dog food diet (my dachshund food recommendations).
Never Ever Leave Your Dachshund in the car on any type of day!
Even with the windows cracked, your car can get as hot as an oven and will kill your dog in minutes. It is illegal to leave your dog in the car in many states. I wish it would be illegal everywhere.
Do you have a long-hair or wire-hair Dachshund? If you are thinking about giving your doxie a super short haircut this summer, be very careful how short you go.
Shorter hair won’t protect your dog from sunburn, it will reveal more skin. The longer hair acts as a nice sun barrier that is protecting them from the sun. So, yes, for the heat, give them a nice trim, but don’t take off too much of the length.
Avoid Dog Houses
Don’t let your Dachshund hang out in an outdoor dog house. Dog houses hold in the extreme summer heat because they don’t have the proper air flow to stay cool. You can provide a cool shaded area for your dog instead.
If it is just too blasted hot outside, you and your doxie can enjoy some fun games and exercise in the cool air conditioning. If you don’t have air conditioning, stay cool with some house fans or in a puppy pool.
Note: Never dunk your dog’s entire body in cold water. The sudden change in temperature could cause them to go into shock.
How To Avoid Sunburn
You know this summer is going to be super hot, heatstroke is a risk and so is sunburn. Protect your Dachshund’s delicate skin from too much sun exposure. It’s better to prevent a sunburn than to have to deal with the painful affects of sun damage.
Read more about How to Protect Your Dachshund From Sunburn.
How To Stay Cool This Summer
Your wiener dog can play water games, wear adorable cooling gear, and munch on some yummy frozen dog treats to stay cool and enjoy their summer. I discovered some really fun and easy ways to keep your Dachshund Cool This Summer.