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Dog Health – Flat Faces and Summer Sun

Posted by Zena Conkey on 22nd Jun 2020

Do you live with a dog that has a snub nose or flatter face? Common breeds include the Pug, Boxer dog, Bulldog and Frenchie. Other breeds include the Shih Tzu and some types of cross breed.

The flatter faced dog is bred to look a certain way and often this type of breeding is detrimental to the health of the dog involved. Flatter faced dogs have some health problems that most other breeds escape.

The main problem with the flat faced dog is that they overheat very quickly. The dog’s main way of keeping cool is by panting. The air goes in through the nose and the mouth of the dog that pants and when the dog has a flat nose the airways are often partially if not completely restricted.

When the weather begins to change and becomes really warm is when the dogs with squashed faces really start to struggle. It is well known amid the grooming profession that flat faced dogs should never be dried with excessive warm air or placed into a drying cabinet. Veterinarians know that these breeds should never be taken out in full, hot sunshine and that leaving them in warm cars is an invitation for disaster.

So what can you do to help your cute friend though the pending summer months? How can you help him to stay cool and comfortable?

Keeping the Flat Faced Dog Cool

  1. The first thing to do as the weather warms up is to avoid midday sunshine walks with the dog. Although you may love to feel that new spring sun on your face the dog will quickly find it uncomfortable. Carry out your dog walk before the sun is too high in the sky, or in the cool evening air. Your canine companion will enjoy it much more if he, or she, is not in direct sunlight.
  2. Secondly always provide your pooch fresh water, maybe even some frozen stock pops which he can lick in the yard to keep himself cool. Make sure there is shade outdoors and access to the cool indoors at all times. You can even provide the water lover with his own little paddling pool to keep him cool in the back yard, great for the dog that is inclined to hop into every puddle that he finds.
  3. Thirdly why not invest in a good cooling vest for your dog? A relatively new invention that is designed for all dogs in the summer months, the cooling vest is dipped in water then placed onto the dog like a conventional jacket. This is particularly helpful for dogs that overheat quickly – like the canine with a flatter face.

I really cannot stress how important it is to keep your dog cool in summer and it’s at least doubly important if he is a breed with a flatter face.

In addition remember to clean any areas on the face that can become moist, such as the bulldogs wrinkles, to prevent bacterial build up which can easily lead to infection. With some extra care and attention to keep him cool and clean you can make sure that your dog enjoys the summer as much as you do.