Dogs can't sweat the way people do; they sweat around their paws but nowhere else on their bodies. They cool themselves by panting. According to healhtypet.com, "Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters."
Short-snout dogs such as the shih tzu have an even harder time cooling themselves than other dogs. The air they breathe isn't cooled by passing through their snouts; the hot air goes into their lungs.
Weight and age also contribute to your dog's ability to cool himself.
Older dogs' systems may not be functioning at 100%. Young dogs' systems have not completely developed.
Overweight dogs have more body fat. This fat acts as an insulator which keeps the body temperature higher.
Leaving a dog in a hot car can lead to potentially fatal complications such as:
- heat exhaustion
Listed below are some commonly heard statements regarding pets left in hot cars.
Parking in the shade will keep my shih tzu cool?
While parking in the shade keeps the interior of the car a little cooler than it would be in the sun, the temperature could still rise to unbearable levels.
My large SUV will be cool enough to keep my dog cool while I get a gallon of milk.
While it takes a little longer for a large vehicle to heat up, it still reaches dangerously high temperature within a few minutes.
I'll leave the windows cracked.
Leaving the windows cracked doesn't allow much air flow and on a hot day doesn't lower the temperature very much.
If you are hot, so is your dog. Follow the old adage, "better safe than sorry" and leave your dog at home! It's the safest place for your pooch!
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