Ah, summer is the perfect time to get out with your Labrador for long walks and fast runs. Depending on where you live in the United States, there’s a time in the season when pleasant breezes turn into humid days, and these extreme temperatures could put your Labrador at risk.
In 2020 alone, PETA found that 31 pets died after being abandoned by their owners in a car on a hot day…as far as they knew. The highest number was recorded in El Paso, Texas, where even winters can be hot.
Labrador owners, in particular, should know what temperatures are excellent for Labradors and what conditions can cause their body heat to rise dangerously high.
This can help ensure that your Labrador is always safe from extreme heat and cold and that you are helping your dog naturally regulate its body temperature.
What is the ideal temperature for a Labrador?
Of course, the cases recorded by PETA are incidents in which animals have died. However, this does not consider the number of animals suffering from high temperatures.
You may already know not to keep your dog in such extreme weather conditions, but what are the ideal temperatures for a pet?
For most dog owners, their pet is a members of the family. They wouldn’t think of subjecting them to cold temperatures or extreme heat.
However, in the United States, summers are getting hotter and hotter. Due to climate change, eight of the ten hottest years on record have occurred since 1998.
So, even if you don’t mean to, your lab could be uncomfortably hot without you knowing it. The climate crisis is forcing owners to monitor indoor and outdoor temperatures.
Most veterinarians agree that when the mercury rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to bring your Labrador indoors. It’s a matter of life and death.
There’s no excuse for not knowing if it’s too hot these days. We all have access to weather apps on our smartphones that allow us to track the temperature in real-time.
But it’s not just the temperature to worry about. It’s also humid.
Monitor humidity levels.
Humidity plays a vital role in how hot a Labrador puppy can get. This is due to the dogs’ unique way of evacuating heat from their bodies. High humidity levels can interfere with this natural process.
Dr. Barry Kellogg of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association explains, “Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which removes heat from their bodies. If the humidity is too high, they cannot cool themselves, and their temperature soars to dangerous levels.”
In general, 20-30% humidity is already too much for Labradors, or dogs, to function correctly. At this point, it is best to bring them indoors.
Beware of the temperature inside the car.
A dog’s average body temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In a hot car, his body temperature can reach 109 degrees Fahrenheit, damaging his circulatory system and organs.
When driving, turn on the air conditioning and open the windows on both sides. Although it’s always hot, the airflow can help keep your Labrador cool. It can also help fight humidity.
And finally, if the car ride is incredibly long, plan for water breaks. If you can, stop by a lake and let the water temperature cool your dog.
How can I tell if my Labrador is overheating?
Sometimes even ideal conditions can make Labradors uncomfortable. Assuming you are still within the excellent temperature range for a Labrador, watch for signs of heat stroke or other heat-related problems that may be affecting your dog’s body.
Dogs that are not accustomed to the heat often exhibit behavioural changes. One study showed that Beijing’s hospitalizations for dog bites increased during the hottest months of the year.
Like humans, dogs tend to change when faced with undesirable temperatures.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the most common signs of overheating in your pet are
More severe health problems you may observe in your dog include seizures and collapses. Alone or in combination, all of these changes are cause for concern. You will need to take steps to lower your Labrador’s temperature.
What can be done to treat a Labrador suffering from heat stroke?
Dog owners can do a lot to help their Labradors stay cool in temperate conditions, even when symptoms of extreme temperatures begin to appear.
Follow these steps to save your four-legged friend if he shows signs of heat stroke:
Step one: move your pet out of the sun and into a shaded or air-conditioned area. If he’s having trouble moving or is too slow, pick him up and run. This is an emergency.
Step 2: When you reach a safe area, apply ice packs and cold towels to the head, neck and chest. It would help if you also wet them with cold water. Avoid ice water, as the shock could kill him.
Third step: Give him a drink. If your dog is frail, find some ice cubes and let him lick them. This will gradually relieve the symptoms.
Fourth step: It is always advisable to take your best friend to the vet for a check-up. Even if Fido recovers and returns to his usual routine, he can still suffer internal damage from heat stroke.
In addition to these measures, installing a doghouse with a blanket in the yard may also be beneficial. This will cool your Labrador in extreme temperatures.
What can I do to make life easier for my Labrador in the summer?
Dogs are not like us. They need more than just a cool drink or turn on the air conditioning when the temperatures rise. Nor can dogs tell us that they are suffering from the heat.
You must take steps to ensure that your dog never reaches the stage of impending heat stroke:
Avoid your foot canine for the freshest part of the day.
Ensure your dog has access to shade and cool water at all times.
If air conditioning is unavailable, purchase a fan so your Labrador can enjoy a cool breeze whenever possible.
Be careful when walking your dog on hot surfaces like sidewalks and sand.
Take your dog swimming. Labrador Retrievers were bred as waterfowl hunting dogs, so they dive into the water quickly.
You may not be able to control your Labrador’s outdoor temperatures, but you can take steps to protect him from hot, humid weather.
How much water does my Labrador need in the summer?
Dogs will always need more water in the summer, just like any human being. Your dog will only drink when thirsty, so you don’t have to worry too much about overhydration.
As a general rule, your dog needs one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.
Obviously, during the summer, your dog will sweat more, so he will drink more. You don’t have to do anything special. Just make sure he gets at least twice his usual amount.
Should I shave my Labrador to help him cope with the higher temperatures?
Unfortunately, shaving Labradors has become a fad among pet owners because of the patterns and styles they can adopt. But that is what many informed puppy proprietors don’t forget animal abuse.
In addition, many dog owners ignore this knowledge and worsen the situation. They think that a dog’s fur layers are the reason they are warm. However, Labradors are a kind of breed that has a double coat.
The double coat means that Labradors have a soft, fluffy undercoat. It keeps the dog warm in winter and cools in summer.
The top layer is rougher to the touch. The 2d layer is the undercoat and is an awful lot softer. This layer may be very near the skin. These two layers are an extension of the dog’s skin.
The undercoat is a kind of protection for the dog. If you shave your Labrador, you take away essential security.
The dog reacts by raising or lowering its coat whenever the ideal temperature is reached for a Labrador. This is a shape of herbal ventilation.
The sad truth is that when you shave your Labrador, you destroy its natural ventilation system. Shaving your Labrador can have the opposite effect, as the hair that grows back will be coarse and not smooth. Your Labrador will end up feeling itchy and more uncomfortable.
How can I exercise my Labrador if it’s too hot to go outside?
It is just as frustrating for adult Labradors as it is for you if it is too hot to go for a walk. During July and August, you need to paint with what you have.
Here are some ideas for alternatives you can use to protect your Labrador’s health:
Go swimming instead of walking.
Wet your dog before, during and after walks. This doesn’t work for humans, but dogs sweat differently, and wetting their double coats can work wonders against overheating.
Take shorter, more frequent walks throughout the day.
Don’t leave your dog off-leash. Keep a slow pace to avoid overheating.
Play indoors with a plush Kong toy when the weather is not ideal.
Consider dog-sitting during the summer.
The Labrador stays the maximum famous breed withinside the country. Like most dog breeds, Labradors have a hard time with summer.