Can Cold-Weather-Loving Dog Breeds Be Happy in Hot Climates?

Be alert when you're out and about. At parks, choose a spot in the shade and be sure you have a cooling mat for your dog to lie on and plenty of fresh water for him to drink. A cooling vest can also be helpful if your dog has a dark coat or will be walking around on a warm day. Carry a spray bottle filled with cool water so you can mist him periodically. When you and your dog are driving in the car, keep him cool with a crate fan in addition to running the air conditioner and never leave your dog in the car on a sunny day.

Offer cold drinks and snacks. Take a water bottle on walks. I like one that has a bowl that folds out to make it easy for the dog to drink. Use water dishes that you can put in the freezer to help keep water cooler longer or put ice cubes in your dog’s water dish. You can offer him frozen treats, too. Put some of your dog’s favorite goodies inside an empty cardboard milk carton, fill it with water, and freeze. Then peel off the cardboard and let your dog play with the “pupsicle” outdoors.

Keep fur under control. Brush your dog regularly to remove excess hair, but I don’t believe in shaving his coat down to the skin. The outer- and undercoat insulate him from heat as well as cold and protect his skin from sunburn. Shaving it isn’t a kindness. A dog with a thick, heavy coat is also going to be extra miserable if he’s attacked by fleas and other parasites. Put him on good parasite preventives year-round, so he's protected against fleas and ticks as well as heartworms and intestinal worms.

Watch his weight. Keep him at a normal weight, preferably on the thin side. Obese dogs are more sensitive to heat and humidity.

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