If you are thinking about purchasing a dog, particularly a long-haired dog, and you live at an altitude where you experience really hot summers, you need to really consider your options. Dogs are highly susceptible to overheating, even in areas that may not feel so hot. The news is always full of stories of dog owners leaving their pets in the car, where they then overheat and die.
Long Fur Does not Insulate!
There is a common myth that states a long-haired dog’s coat actually insulates them, thereby keeping them cool. In reality, the coat actually holds body heat in, making the dog warmer and warmer. You can probably imagine what it feels like to wear a fur coat during summer, and that is exactly what it feels like for your pet. This is why you must always trim your dog’s hair in the summer or during the hotter months, even if you have a mainly indoor pet and use air conditioning.
Your Dog’s Behaviour
You also have to think about your dog’s behaviour and listen to their signals. Dogs always love to run and exercise, but if you notice that they slow down, you have to listen to them and let them set the pace. Consider pouring some water over their neck and head. If they seem very hot, put some water on their belly and the pads of their feet as well. Remember to always have water with you on walks, and available at home, regardless of the climate.
Top 5 Long-Haired Dogs
There are many long-haired dogs, and some dogs such as the Golden Retriever, are slightly in the middle. Their coats are classed as neither short nor long. However, some dogs truly have very long hairs, and these are the ones that you must trim during the hotter months. The top 5 long-haired dogs are:
1. The soft coated Wheaten Terrier
2. The Bearded Collie
3. The Yorkshire Terrier
4. The Afghan Hound
5. The Komondor
As you can see, some of these dogs are large, and others are much smaller. Another long-haired dog bread, for instance, is the Havanese, which is small enough to fit into a purse. Other long-haired dogs are much larger, such as the Bernese mountain dog. Other small dog breeds with long coats include the Lhasa Apso, the Shih Tzu and the Maltese. The larger dogs often live in mountainous environments, but the smaller dogs are kept as pets in all kinds of homes, so this is where you need to take particular care during hot months. These dogs would not choose a hot climate as their natural environment.