While the coat of a Shiba Inu keeps it cooler in the summer, that does not mean it will not suffer from dehydration or another heat-related illness. During the summer, it is important to keep your Shiba nicely cool and directly out of the sun. This is important to remember when you head out to have some fun in the sun with you companion dog.
If the weather forecast warns of warm temperatures and humidity, you need to take precautions. Dogs should never be left in a hot vehicle – even if you crack the windows or park the car in some shade. It does not take long for a dog to overheat and die in these kinds of situations. Dogs can also suffer from heatstroke in warm weather. Therefore, you need to do all you can to keep your Shiba Inu cool and comfortable.
Signs of Heatstroke
Signs of heatstroke in a dog include the following:
- Drooling (also called hyper-salivation)
- Warm to the touch
- Red mucous membranes inside the Shiba’s mouth
- Rapid heart rate
- Dry nose
- Unable to stand
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Staggering (ataxia)
- Muscles tremors
In the worst-case scenario, the dog will go into a coma and die.
A Heatstroke Can Happen Quickly
A dog can show heatstroke symptoms fast on a hot and humid day. Therefore, if you jog or engage in another athletic activity with your dog, you need to watch him carefully. Gradually expose your Shiba Inu to the heat, especially if he is not used to it.
Call Your Veterinarian
If you believe your Shiba Inu is suffering from heatstroke, call your veterinarian for instructions and help immediately. If you can, move your dog in the shade and cool your dog with some tepid water. Never use icy cold water, as it can shock your dog’s system.
How to Keep Your Shiba from Overheating
You can find ways to avoid endangering your pet’s health in the heat of summer. The following tips will help you keep your pet safe.
- When walking your pet, do so in the early morning or in the late evening. Never take your pet out during mid-day, or during the hottest part of the day.
- Keep your dog’s water dish filled, so he always has fresh and cool water to drink.
- Add cool water to a kiddy’s plastic play pool in your backyard so your dog can lie in the pool and cool off, if needed.
- Include water-friendly foods in your dog’s feeding bowl, such as slices of cucumber or cubes of seedless watermelon.
- Place a cooling mat on the patio so your companion dog can stay cool outdoors when it rests.
- Keep “pupsicles” in the freezer as a frozen treat for your dog.*
*Below are a couple “pupsicles’ recipes.
How to Make Dog Popsicles or “Pupsicles” Using Two Ingredients
Dogs love the following pupsicle two-ingredient recipes.
Yogurt and Berry Pupsicles
1/2 cup strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries
2 5-oz. containers of plain yogurt
Combine the ingredients and add them to a mold or ice tray before popping the mix into the freezer.
Banana and Pumpkin Pupsicles
2 bananas (ripe)
1/4 cup of pumpkin puree (not the filling for pumpkin pie)
Combine the mix in a mold or ice tray and place it in the freezer. It takes about 4 hours for pupsicles to freeze.
Taking a Road Trip with Your Shiba Inu in the Summer
You also need to be careful when you travel with your Shiba Inu on a road trip. Both you and your Shiba should be fine, provide your ride with the AC switched on. Keep the following in mind when travelling with your pet.
- Extra precautions should especially be taken if the temperature is flirting around 75 degrees or more. However, even if the temperature is cooler, don’t leave your pet in the car. It still can be too warm for him.
- A high humidity level can cause your Inu to overheat much more easily than when the environment is drier.
- Consider your car’s exterior and interior colors when traveling with your dog. A darker color absorbs the heat more and therefore heats up more quickly.
- Use sun shades to cover the car’s front and side windows. Place the shades so they will keep the car cooler when you park it.
- Window gates can be used for ventilation in the car for warm days when the sun is not as hot.
How to Keep Your Dog Cool
To ensure your dog’s comfort while traveling, do not ever leave it alone in the car. Keep the car air-conditioned and keep your dog on a leash. Direct your Inu to the shade when you are walking during your travels. You can further cool your companion dog by placing a neck cooler around its neck. Buy a neck cooler for yourself too so you both can stay cooler and more comfortable.You can also dampen a towel with slightly cool water and place it on your pet’s back to keep it cool when you are walking it. Neither you or your Shiba have to suffer unduly when the temperature rises during the summer. Make sure you focus on cooling your pet and keeping it comfortable if you take it with you while you are seeing the summer sights or travelling along the road. By following all the tips above, you can bond better with your Shiba as well as confidently protect it from the heat.