The warmer months are just around the corner and if last year is anything to go by we may well have another very hot summer.
Great news if you like the sun but not so great if you are a brachycephalic breed of dog.
What do we mean by brachycephalic dog breeds?
These are dogs that have what looks like a short nose or flattened face. Some popular brachycephalic breeds include English and French Bulldogs, pugs and boxers.
What are the potential health problems associated with brachycephalic breeds during the warmer weather?
In hot weather these dogs are more likely to overheat which in the worst cases can lead to death. Overheating occurs as dogs mostly regulate their body temperature by panting. Dogs with longer muzzles are able to cool down quickly by drawing air in over the large surface area of their tongue but shorter nosed dogs cannot do this as efficiently.
Be extra careful during hot weather, try and keep your dog as cool as possible and avoid exercise. If you do need to exercise your dog keep to early morning or late evening.
What are the other health risks associated with brachycephalic breeds?
These include breathing problems, as often their windpipe is deformed and narrowed so they can breathe in less oxygen with each breath.
As well as their mouths dogs will also breathe through their nose, brachycephalic dogs are more likely to have narrowed nostrils making inhaling more difficult.
Other problems include the inability to give birth naturally due to the pup’s large heads which are not compatible with the size of the mother’s birth canal. This can then lead to a caesarean section having to be carried out.
Prominent eyes leave them more vulnerable to injury. Skin and ear problems can occur due to narrow ear canals and deep skin folds which allow for yeast infections to grow.