Lifestyle

Important to help keep dogs cool in the summer heat

Good to remember that your dog may not be able to cool as fast as you can.
Good to remember that your dog may not be able to cool as fast as you can.

YEARS ago we installed an evaporative air conditioner on our roof.

It was the kind where water is pumped over mesh pads while a fan blows air from the outside into the house.

I'm told they work much better in less humid environments out west, and it was still only adequate at best compared to a proper heat pump type air conditioner we have now.

What got me thinking about this was a couple of comments by my clients about their dogs "throwing in the towel" on longish walks lately, and a very sad case where a poor dog had his whole tongue torn out in a fight with another larger dog. It was awful!

That unfortunate and otherwise uninjured dog had to be euthanised because a dog cannot live without its tongue, one of whose many functions is as the dog's evaporative cooling air-conditioner.

Not only is the canine tongue a ladle for scooping fluids, a receptor for gustatory sensation, a swab for cleaning wounds and a grooming implement, it is also, perhaps most critically, an organ of cooling.

Along with lolling in that peculiarly canine way, the tongue can engorge with blood and so increase the surface area available for evaporative cooling pretty much like my old rooftop air-conditioner.

Instead of the fan we have the movement of air across the tongue back and forth by panting.

Like any air-conditioning system it has its limits, and potentially fatal heat stroke can ensue when the cooling system is overloaded.

Remember that dogs have no sweat glands so can't perspire like us.

So just imagine covering yourself completely in cling-wrap (stay with me here), so your sweat can't evaporate, then putting on a fur coat.

Now go for a walk in the hot sun. Hopefully you will have been arrested for deviant behaviour before you collapsed from heat stroke.

The take home message here is to remember that your dog may not be able to cool as fast as you can on hot days.

Wetting them down all over before a walk will help, as will waiting till the cooler early or late hours.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  animals, lifestyle, pets, summer, vet, weather



Backpacker tax scrapped as changes bite on farmers

Rob Bauer of Bauer's Organic Farm. The farm has launched a paddock-to-plate online shop. Photo: LucyRC Photography

Region's farmers still unhappy with decision

Job plan working, Qld minister says

Magnifying glass over a newspaper classified section with \"Job Opportunity\" text

Our plan to get Queenslander's back to work

Work on $800k mobility corridor to get underway this week

Work on a new mobility scooter corridor is set to get underway.

Work on a new mobility corridor has begun.

Local Partners

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual