Climate change is causing dogs and horses to reach maximum temperatures

They love to be outside and are usually in better shape than the rest of us. Whether it’s a dog or a horse: both are pets that keep us on our toes. user. But there are limits to their fitness, too. They are less able to handle the heat in the summer than humans. An explosive topic in times of global warming. So should pet owners rethink?

When it’s hot, go out with the dog only in the morning or in the evening

If the dog no longer likes to walk and is panting heavily, this is a clear indication that he does not want to exercise because he is too hot. Dogs have a poor cooling system because they have nearby sweat glands. Their only way to cool the body is to let the heat evaporate through the mucous membranes in the mouth.

So it’s especially important for dogs not to get overheated in the first place. In hot weather, it is best to exercise with your dog in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler.

First aid for a feverish dog

Signs of a dog overheating can be intense panting, but also that the dog no longer wants to move, remains lying down or does not want to go further. Heat also leads to a lack of water in the dog’s body and thus dehydration. life threatening condition Signs of this are very reddened mucous membranes, but also very intense anxiety. Animals often do not lie down until they suddenly fall.

Veterinarian Rene Dorvelt of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich advises putting your dog in a bucket of cold water immediately. Even better: pour cold water over it, or best of all, submerge it in a stream or lake so you can really cool it down by washing it. The cold towel doesn’t help much because the skin is moisturized afterwards, but the towel also reduces evaporation.

Flat noses have a particularly hard time on hot days

Basically, dogs have a temperature of between 10 and 20 degrees. But there are also breeds that are similar to it that are much colder. Dogs with a lot of fur and undercoat can tolerate less heat than those with little fur.

Flat-nosed dogs in particular can easily develop heart problems in the heat. The reason: Heat causes the airways to swell, which means they get less oxygen, according to vet Dorvelt. Dogs can tolerate a combination of warm and even worse humidity.

Heat and humidity together are doubly harmful

To lower the body temperature, the body evaporates moisture. But what if the humidity is high? This is a problem because it means that the air is already rich in a lot of moisture, so only a little moisture can be released into the outside air. This means that temperature regulation in the body can go poorly.

For guidance: 50 to 60 percent is considered low humidity. In Bavaria, there is currently 80-92 percent humidity in many places. This means that the dog can withstand an outside temperature of just over 10 degrees without any problems. Therefore, the higher the humidity of the air, the lower the temperature it can tolerate. This also applies to horses.

Horses heat up much faster than humans

As prey animals, horses are trained to endure a lot. You put a lot away. Perhaps one of the reasons is the lack of information in relevant magazines on the topic of horses and heat. Also on the website of the FN Equestrian Federation, the umbrella organization of equestrian clubs, there is only one thing about it: what to do in tournaments on hot days.

A study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Guelph in Ontario indicates that horses tolerate heat much less than humans. In humans, it takes three to ten times what it takes for horses to raise their body temperature.

Horses feel the heat more intensely

There is basically a difference from humans: a horse has a different heat-neutral range than humans. This means that people feel most comfortable at a temperature of 15-24 degrees, and the body does not freeze or sweat.

In a horse, this range is much lower, between 5 and 20 degrees, depending on the breed, explains veterinarian Anna May of the LMU in Munich. This in turn means that a horse feels comfortable at an average of 13 degrees and a human at 20 degrees. This also explains why the horse is more sensitive to heat from the start.

Leave the horses alone in hot and humid weather

Horses are muscular men. This makes them strong and persistent. But it primarily cools these muscles down through sweating. If the air outside is humid, this is rare. The result: heat builds up in the body – similar to cases of fever.

Research from the University of Guelph indicates that at a humidity level of 75 percent, horses can only cool their bodies enough to an outside temperature of 20 degrees. After that, the temperature of the animals rises. According to vet May, the horses then tried to cool off more by breathing more intensely, and in fact, their respiratory rate would be higher than their heart rate. But this puts the body under severe stress.

It is better for animals to rest on such days, so they should not be ridden anymore. In dry heat, eg 50% humidity, animals survived up to 30 degrees. However, this low humidity is the exception in this country.

The health consequences can be cramps, muscle damage, or persistent fatigue. This can also lead to kidney damage. A warning sign is when horses try to release heat through breathing, i.e. they are pumping too hard when breathing in.

Best rule for pet owners: It doesn’t matter if it’s a horse or a dog, when it’s hot, animals like to keep it like we do. You’re lazing in the cold shade.

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