18 Oct 10

Hong Kong summers can be extremely uncomfortable when humidity levels become very high. Not only unbearable for us, but spare a thought for a shaggy Chow Chow, Pomeranian or fluffy Persian. Not only that, have you seen a dog or cat sweat before?


Actually they do sweat, but it is limited to the underpads of their feet. Sweating is one good way to keep your body temperature under control. As your sweat gets evaporated away it helps to draw the heat away from you. If your sweat glands are only available on your feet it is hardly an efficient way to cool your body down.


Generally dogs and cats will try to cool themselves down by panting. The act of rapidly breathing helps to draw hot air away from them. The movement of air will also help draw the heat from the vascular blood supply of their tongue. This process has it’s limits though. You can only breath rapidly up to a certain rate before your breathing becomes too shallow to be of any use and your excessive muscle movements also contributes to the production of heat as well.


Heat stress comes about when your body is unable to stop the ongoing rise in body temperature. In extreme circumstances organ damage will occur has the body literally begins to burn up. If body temperature rise to 150F or 41C organ damage will lead to organ failure and can be fatal! Annually we will see many cases of heat stress to varying degrees.


The cases that lead to death can be very stressful to deal with for all parties. Seeing the dog or cat suffer is very unpleasant. From this experience prevention is definately a better option over cure. Make every effort to keep the living space for your pet as well ventilated as possible. Do not assume that if your pet is away from the sun, that they are safe from heat stress. A still, non-ventilated room will be very stuffy.


If your pet is active for any reason; perhaps playing or overly excited about something, it’s body temperature can rise very quickly under these conditions. Your pet dog still needs it’s exercise even during the summer months. You must be extra cautious in preventing your dog from over exerting itself.

Try to avoid prolonged outings during the hottest time of the day. Midday is generally not a good time to go out for long runs! Try to arrange early morning or evening walks when the weather has cooled down a little. You may have a dog who happens to be very excited and happy when it comes their daily exercise. They will be very active whether it is a hot or cold day. You need to monitor these dogs very carefully.

如果你的寶貝是一隻十分活潑好動的寵物,體溫很容易會在玩耍或過度激動時迅速上升.當然寵物在夏天裹仍然雖要適量的運動,但作為主人的你,就要特別當心牠們過度活動. 嘗試避免在天氣最熱的時候外出,尤其是中午!試試安排在清晨或夜晚外出,因為室外溫度相對比較涼快,可能你的狗狗每逢出外都會極度興奮,那就要小心留意狗狗的狀況.

If the dog is panting excessively it might be time to settle the dog down. If it is off the lead it would be a good time to put the lead back on so you have better control.


It would be a good idea to carry water with you. A good way to cool down is to have a good drink of water. If the dog is near water it may be a good time for the dog to go for a swim t o cool that body down.