Weather and Outdoor Care – Extreme Heat

         This section strikes closer to home for me. I live near Los Angeles and the weather can get crazy sometimes. Usually though, it comes in the form of brutal summer months, and heat waves. So in this section, I’m going to go over how you can take care of your Eskie during those brutal summer months and heat waves. 

         In any extreme weather, precautions must be taken. Otherwise your Eskie will either end up as a popsicle or will find itself melted all over the sidewalk. So, lets start with how to take care of your Eskie during those brutal summers and heat waves.

Extreme Heat Care

         Heatstroke is one of the major hazards during hot summer months. And can leave lasting health damages.

 

 

 

 

         Now, they don’t sweat like us humans. Eskies release heat by panting and through sweat on their paws and noses. If they’re unable to expel this heat, their internal body temperature will rise. Normally an Eskie’s body temperature will be between 101°F and 102°F. But all it takes to send your Eskie into a very dangerous situation, is a rise of 3-4 degress. If it hits 105°F, the Eskie is in trouble

         Because at that temperature, your all of your Eskie’s organs will literally start breaking down at the cellular level. And the breakdown and damage spreads extremely fast. When it strikes that critical point, everything goes to hell in a hand basket. Because the damage and cellular destruction will spread at a very aggressive rate.

         If your eskie manages to survive this and recover, your eskie will suffer from permanent long term health damage. Doesn’t really matter if you immediately cool it down, and get treatment. Once it hits that level, the damage is permanent.

         Here are some of the signs your eskie is suffering heatstroke

  • rapid loud breathing/panting,
  • dry mouth and nose,
  • rapid heart rate and dull grayish-pink, or red gums.
  • abundant thick saliva
  • bright red mucus membranes
  • high rectal temperature
  • unsteadiness
  • diarrhea
  • Goes into coma

         Eskies are not hot weather dogs, though they can acclimate fairly well.  Their double coat helps to insulate them against the heat.  However, as with any breed, extreme heat can be fatal if certain precautions are not taken.

         Here are some of the precautions you can take to keep your Eskie comfortable during those summer months and heat waves.

  • Provide plenty of shade whenever your Eskie is outside. This is extremely important in order to allow your Eskie the opportunity to retreat from the harsh rays of the sun and the sweltering heat.
  • Cold Kerchiefs and Vests – There are several dog apparel manufacturing companies that offer dog kerchiefs and vests which aid in keeping your dog cool and comfortable.  These kerchiefs and vests contain small beads which absorb water and can be refrigerated.  You soak the kerchief or vest in water and then place it in the refrigerator in a bag of some sort.  When you are ready to go for a walk, go for a car ride, or exercise with your Eskie, place the kerchief or vest on your Eskie and it should help him or her to remain cool.
  • Dog Popsicles/Ice – In certain dog stores/marts, you may find a dog product which is the shape of a dog bone and which you use to make dog popsicles or ice.  Just like making popsicles for your kids, you place a liquid in the mold and freeze it until solid.  Once frozen, separate the mold from the ice cold treat and give it to your dog.
  • Exercise During Cooler Times of the Day – If you are going to exercise with your Eskie during the summer months, be sure to do so during the cooler portions of the day.  Remember, dogs are not like people.  They do not have the abundance of sweat glands which we have. 
  • Always have water available for your Eskie.  It is not enough that you gave your Eskie a drink half an hour ago.  When the temperature is high, your Eskie needs to have access to water continually to keep him or her from dehydrating and to provide a means to help your Eskie cool down.  If your Eskie is going to be in the car with you, get a spill-resistant dog bowl which you can use for water and keep it in your vehicle at all times.  Your Eskie will love you for it!

         And since we’re talking about heat, lets make one thing really clear.

 Never, ever, ever – leave your Eskie in the car – not even for a minute on sunny days. 

         Would you really want to leave your Eskie in a convection oven? Good, then don’t ever leave it in the car.The short of it is that cars heat up really fast. Like, within minutes. Even on mild days. The temperature inside the car can go up to 40 degrees within an hour. Which will bake your Eskimo and most likely cause heat stroke. Even death.

         And it doesn’t matter if you leave you pulled the windows down a bit. It will only delay the inevitable by a few minutes. And it doesn’t provide any relief. If you are a passenger with your Eskie, get out and find shade if you can.

         If that’s not possible, then open all the windows, doors even. To let as much of the heat out as possible. Still – you’re better off finding some shade.

         So I say again sir/mam – never, ever, ever leave your Eskie in the car – not even for a minute on sunny days.

Shave Or Not To Shave?

         I am also asked whether it’s a good idea to cut most or all of your Eskie’s hair off during those brutal summer months.

         Eskies can acclimate themselves to hot weather as well. But the problem with shaving an Eskie is that it will upset the natural temperature control that its long hair and undercoat gives it. From what I’ve gathered – shaving normally does little in way of assisting your Eskie during hot weather.

         However, removing about 80% or more of the undercoat will relieve them of discomfort during summer months. But by shaving an Eskie you make it more vulnerable to sunburns and fly bites.

         So I would strongly encourage you that if you do shave your Eskie, keep your Eskie indoors as much as possible.

         So should you shave your Eskie or leave it? That choice is up to you.

 American Eskimo 101 Crash Course

  1. American Eskimo 101 Crash Course Home Page
  2. Their Character, Temperament And Breed History
  3. Eskie Psychology 
  4. Extreme Hot Weather Care
  5. Extreme Cold Weather Care
  6. Grooming, Appearance And Bathing Care
  7. Nutritional Needs – What foods and vitamins to feed it
  8. Nutritional Hazards – What not to feed it
  9. How to socialize Eskies with guests, and other pets
  10. American Eskimo Diseases And Health Problems
  11. Some Ways To Deal With Hip Dysplasia
  12. How to handle rescued Eskies
  13. Eskie Training

 

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