Often times i get questions like – Can Huskies live in India or Can Malamutes live in Florida or Can Samoyed live in Greece.. For some reason people that live in hot weather regions want to have dog that evolved and is best suited for very cold weather. But even though dogs are very adaptable, it is not always good idea for certain breeds to live in warm regions.
There are two main dog groups that do not thrive in hot weather. The first one are heavy coated dogs that evolved in arctic or in generally cold regions. The second group are dogs with pushed-in nose, also known as brachycaphelic dogs. Of course not all short nosed dogs or heavy coated dogs are bad for hot climate, but those two dog groups will be in general the worst for hot and humid climate.
Lets start with the fluffy cold loving breeds. This is a group of a dogs with heavy and dense doublecoat. These dogs were bred to live in or they naturally evolved in areas with cold temperatures. Most of them lived in such conditions for centuries and their ancestors never experienced warm, hot and humid climate.
To give you some examples of dogs from this group, i can mention the Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, all the Laikas, like Yakutian, East Siberian or West Siberian Laika, next we have some Scandinavian dogs like Finnish Lapphund or Norwegian Elkhound, i can also mention Newfoundland or Saint Bernard. Many mountain dogs like Bernese Mountain Dog or Tibetan Mastiff will also be much happier in colder climate.
As you might notice, not only that these dogs have very dense and thick heavy coats, they are almost all quite large and big dogs, because large breeds in general are also susceptible to heat, much more than smaller dogs.
I will give you tips how to help all dogs to survive hot summer or how to happily live in warmer regions later in the video, but there is one tip specifically for heavy coated dogs, so i will mention it right away.
It might be tempting to shave the dogs fur when the temperatures are high. It sounds logical. All the fur must keep the dog unnecessary hot and if you remove it, it will cool down the dog, right?
Well, its quite the opposite and if you would shave your double coated dog in hot summer, you will make it much worse for the dog. You know, the dense doublecoat does not only work as insulation from the cold, it also insulate the dog from the heat. And it provides great protection from sunburn. So if there will be one thing you will remember from this video, than it is this one. Never shave your double coated dog.
Of course, you should brush the dog regularly, to remove all the dead and loose hair, which will help a little bit during hot summer. Brushing is beneficial, shaving is dangerous.
The second dog group that is not the best to have in warm regions are brachycaphelic dogs. Those are all the dogs with pushed in face and shorthened nose. Especially those who are bred to extremes, to have extremely short and pushed in muzzle are prone to heat, because it is the head shape that makes the huge disadvantage to dogs in the hotter months. These dogs might even suffer more than the heavy coated dogs and hot summer might be more dangerous for them.
It is because dogs with short muzzles are ineffective panters. Panting is one of the main ways how dogs cool down and it is a way how to regulate body temperature. And brachycephalic breeds have long, soft palates in the backs of their mouths, and the palate tissue blocks the flow of air to the trachea. This results in snorting and gurgling and sometimes very dangerous breathing issues. These dogs just need to work extra hard to get sufficient ammount of cool air into their body system.
I can mention many breeds that fall into the brachycephalic category and i am sure you can do it too. To mention some of the most popular, there are all kinds of Bulldogs like English or French Bulldog, we also have the Pug, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Affenpinscher, Japanese Chin, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Chow Chow, Pomeranian, Brussels Griffon or Dogue de Bordeaux. None of these breeds are perfect for extremely hot climate. But as i mentioned in the beginning of the video, there are ways how to make their lives better during extreme heats.
There are several ways how to help your dog. Probably the most obvious is to let your dog to have access to fresh water all day long. It does not need to be very cold water or icy water, it is better to give them water of normal temperature. But they should have access to the water all day long!
You should also create some cool zones around the home or your property. Dogs will naturally stay at shady areas, but if you can make your dog some kiddy pool where he can lounge he will love it. Some dogs will dig a hole where they can rest, so you should not punish them for it, they do it to cool down. If you have your dog indoors, it is best if you have at least some room with wood or tile floor. Your dogs will love it if you will help them to cool down by having some areas where it is little bit cooler and it is generally better to not keep the dog outdoors all day long during hot days. Another way ho to prepare some cool zone for your dog is to invest in cooling pad or some cooling pet bed. Some dogs will not like it, but some will love it.
If you want to go for a longer walk, it is better to go early in the morning or late in the evening. I would avoid longer walks or hikes during the day and directly on the sun. That is always a bad idea, especially if your dog is still a puppy or if it is an older dog. Older dogs are logically more prone to heat related issues like heatstroke. All dogs must exercise, but do not overdoit on the hot days and keep it rather slow. If you are on a walk, try to walk on a grass and not on a pavement. If the pavement is too hot for your bare hands or feet, than it is also too hot for dogs feet.
You should also watch the dogs weight. Obese dogs are much more sensitive to heat and humidity and excessive weight can lead to breathing issues in any dog, but especially the brachycephalic dogs are prone to these issues if they are overweight.
And last, but not least, and this should be a complete no brainer, never leave your dog in a parked car on a warm day. Only few minutes in closed car during a warm day is enough for some dogs to suffer serious organ damage.
None of these advices is exactly a rocket science. Just use the common sense.
And as i already mention, brushing the dog and removing the excessive fur is extremely beneficial, but again, never shave the dogs coat. This is a mistake many people do, so avoid it. This will truly only make the things worse.
You should also monitor your dog for potential heatstroke signs. Some signs of heatstroke are glazed eyes, heavy breathing, excessive thirst and rapid heartbeat. Serious signs are lethargy, dizziness, fever, profuse salivation, lack of coordination, vomiting, seizure and unconsciousness.
If you suspect that your dog have a heatstroke, you should immediatelly take him to shady or air conditioned area, let him drink small amounts of water and put soaked towels over its head, neck and chest. The towel should not be completely cold. And of course, take him to the veterinarian immediatelly.
So to sumarize it. If you live in a region where the temperature is high all year long, i will definitely suggest you to get a dog that is naturally adapted to such conditions. There are many dogs that evolved in warm regions that make the same amazing companions as your dreamed Husky or Samoyed. Watch out for heavy coated dogs and short nosed dogs as those two are the most prone to heat related issues. Always check the breed and ask some other breeders or owners if they would recommend you to get your dream dog in hot weather area.
If you already have a dog that is not doing so well in warm and humid climate, there are many ways how to make it easier for him. Brush him, do not shave him, give him acces to water all day long, give him access to some cool zone, do not overdoit with exercise and make longer walks early in the morning or late in the evening. If you will follow these advices, than your dog will love it and it will make his life much easier.