Husky Rescue Ireland Team
How to Care for Your Husky in the Hot Summer Months
Huskies hail from Siberia, a region that experiences some of the world's most extreme weather. They have some of their own tools to stay cool (like their double coat) but certainly need extra help from us on the hottest days.
Our team has created this blog to help you care for your husky on the summer's hottest days. We also share some guidance on what to do if you think your dog is suffering from dehydration or, worse, from heatstroke.
Using Ice in Your Dog's Water Bowl
On warm days, some owners like to give their dogs ice cubes to keep them cool.
Although adding ice to your husky’s water bowl can be helpful in cooling them, avoid giving your dog ice directly as it can confuse their body into thinking it’s cold around them, which results in the body heating up even more!
Taking Care of Your Husky's Coat
Some owners will see their husky struggling with the rise in temperature during the summer months and wonder if they can help them by cutting or shaving their coat. We absolutely advise against this. Any double coated breeds, such as huskies and akitas, use their coat to regulate their body temperature. Not only does it keep them warm during winter, it actually keeps them cool during summer also.
So, please. Never shave a husky.
If you want to help your husky, make sure to frequently brush them. Any knots and mats will retain heat and make them very uncomfortable. Therefore, it’s important to stay on top of grooming.
Keep your dog well brushed and they'll be more comfortable. Do the brushing outside, and it'll minimise on how much husky fur will be dropped inside your home, which you know might be a lot!
And we'll say it again just to be sure. Never, ever, shave a husky.
How to Take Your Dog for a Walk Safely When it's Hot
Always avoid walking your husky at the hottest time of the day, typically from 12pm to 5pm. Either walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening at a cooler time.
If in doubt, do a path test by placing the back of your hand on the ground. If it is uncomfortably hot for you, it is unsuitable for your pet.
Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Heat
If you find your husky is still over heating after walks or throughout the day, provide them with a cooling mat or a damp towel for them to lie on.
Providing your dog with a water source such as a children’s paddling pool can be an effective way of cooling them down but avoid any water activities that may cause overexertion.
Another idea is setting up an electric fan to keep your dog cool. We actually use these at the Husky Rescue Centre in the summer and it works a treat.
Signs of Dehydration and Heat Stroke
During the summer, dogs are more susceptible to dehydration and heat stroke. To avoid this, always provide your dog with a source of fresh and cool drinking water. Ensure they have access to shady spots where they can go to escape the sun and heat.
If you believe your dog may be dehydrated or affected by heat stroke, here are a couple of signs to look out for:
Check their gums, if they appear either bright red or a very pale colour this could be an indicator that they are in trouble.
Rapid breathing, drooling or lethargy are also signs to look out for.
If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms, move them to a cooler area and bring their temperature down slowly.
Do not use very cold water or ice as it may send your dog into shock. Bring their temperature down slowly using damp cloths, towels and an electric fan. Monitor your dog very closely as this condition can turn dangerous in a very short period of time. When in doubt, always seek veterinary advice.