Jul 26, 2018
We’ve all been complaining about the heat lately. As so we should, with the record breaking temperatures, the alarming number of deaths, and the tens of thousands of hospitalizations. It’s natural to focus on the effect on humans, but us dogowners must also think about our furry pals.
Few dogs common here in Japan are used to this kind of heat (Short haired chihuahuas being one of the key exceptions), so allow me to offer a few recommendations for taking care of your little best friends.
The サマーカット “Summer Cut”
Normally I let my dog get a little more of what I like to call “the muppet look” (since he looks like Animal when he gets shaggier), but whenever I go to the groomers during this season, I just ask for the “summer cut.” Anywhere between 2 and 4 mm is a decent length, though I tend to err on the short side. In fact, he’s due for another cut soon!
When the heat index is above 40 degrees Celsius, the temperature of the pavement can exceed 60 degrees Celsius. Going for walks when it is that hot is like torture for your dog and can cause pretty severe damage if you’re not careful.
Time your walks to go in the early morning and late evening, and if you absolutely have to take your pup out, carry him/her to a shaded or grassy area. Shoes are okay, too, if your dog can handle it. Still be aware that even if you have protection from the pavement, the duration out in that heat can take its toll as well.
My dog goes through an extra bowl of water a day in the summertime, and he’s a shih tzu—not the most active animal around. Be sure to keep an eye on the water dish this time of year.
Just remember that however hot it feels for you in your house, you need to add a few degrees for your pet who’s wearing a fur coat. Be sure that you keep the air flowing, especially when you leave the house and your pet alone at home. It’s a bummer for the electric bill, but your pet will be grateful for the reprieve from the heat.
Do you have any other tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy in this oppressive summer heat? Feel free to share in the comments section below!
Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.
Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).