Pugs, unlike other breeds, do not tolerate the heat very well. As a pet owner, you need to know how to keep your Pug cool indoors and outdoors.
A “brachycephalic” breed like a Pug can overheat quickly if exposed to extreme temperatures. The best thing you can do is keep your dog well-hydrated while spending time outdoors. It’s best to keep your Pug in the shade if possible and prevent them from exercising too much in the direct heat.
The Importance of Keeping Your Pug Cool
Pugs are known to cool themselves naturally as long as they don’t remain in the direct heat for long periods of time. A Pugs coat will prevent them from being burnt and absorbs the heat from the sun. You’ll also notice your Pug panting more to help cool themselves.
Here are some signs that will help you know if your Pug is too hot:
- Dry mouth, nose, and gums
- Fast, noisy breathing (snorting)
- Drooling or excessive panting
- Staggering or Disorientation
- Poor skin elasticity (You’ll be able to tell if you pull on the skin on the back of their neck. If it doesn’t return to normal immediately, it could be a sign that you’re Pug is dehydrated.)
- Mucus build-up on their tongue
- They’ll walk awkwardly because the ground is too hot for the pads of their paws
- Your dog will want to lie down more frequently because they are fatigued easily
Keep an eye on them while outdoors in the hot temperatures. It doesn’t take long for a Pug to overheat and it’s important to be able to notice the signs early.
6 Tips to Keep Your Pug Cool Outdoors
Every pet owner needs to know how to keep their pet comfortable both in the cold and the heat. I’m going to share some tips that will help you out. Plus, I’ll share what we used to do when Mindy overheated while we were out of town and had a neighbor watching her.
I’d recommend implementing these tips if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors with your pet during the Summer months.
#1 Keep Them Cool and Hydrated
The most important thing you can do is make sure they have fresh clean water that is easy to access. Mindy had her favorite bowl and we always made sure that we gave her fresh water 3 times per day.
If you’re exercising your Pug, make sure that you follow these guidelines during the hot Summer months:
- Change your daily exercise schedule to the early mornings or late evening hours.
- Walk them in shady areas with lots of trees.
- Carry a doggie water bottle and collapsible bowl to give them plenty of water breaks.
- Avoid walking on hot pavement that can burn their paws.
- Take plenty of breaks and pay attention to their breathing.
- Invest in cooling mats for your home and while traveling with your Pug to help them cool off quickly. We loved the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler because it kept Mindy cool.
- Rinse them off with the outside faucet. (Mindy used to love being rinsed off when we were outside in the heat.)
The great thing is that this breed doesn’t need a lot of daily exercise, read this if you’ve been wondering how much exercise does a Pug need.
I’ve put together some tips on getting your Pug to drink more water.
#2 Never Leave Them In A Parked Vehicle
A parked vehicle can get extremely hot, it still amazes me when I see a pet owner run into a store and leave their pet in the vehicle. A Pug’s body temperature is 38-39.2 degrees C, which is higher than a human.
Unlike us, they don’t sweat to help their body cool, this is what makes overheating for dogs extremely dangerous. Read this article if you want to know how Pugs sweat.
If you do need to leave them in a vehicle while you run a quick errand, make sure that an adult or responsible teenager stays in the air-conditioned vehicle with them.
Don’t be scared to leave them at home in their bed. They’ll be much better off lying in an air-conditioned environment alone than being left in the vehicle unattended in the heat.
#3 Provide Adequate Shade
Pugs are known to be overly attached to their pet owners and they want to go everywhere with you. Mindy was my shadow and whenever I was mowing the yard, she would be right behind me in the heat.
I would notice that she would be panting and snorting uncontrollably. After doing this a few times, the only way that I could keep her outside was to set up a playpen or area with her in the shade.
Related: Pug Breathing Problems
We noticed that she became more intolerable to the heat as she reached her senior years. During her senior years, we always had a portable fan sitting in the shade to help keep her cool.
#4 Get a Pug Pool
Some Pugs love swimming or just wading around in the pool. Mindy did not enjoy swimming, we even tried to get her to swim from one end of the pool to the other.
However, she just didn’t enjoy it and we never pushed her to get into the pool. She did enjoy sitting in the water and just relaxing while we played in the pool.
After getting wet she loved being dried off with her own towel. Keeping your Pug dog pet around water during the hot temperatures can be a great way for both of you to keep cool while spending time outdoors.
#5 Keep Them Indoors As Much As Possible
As I mentioned your Pug is going to want to be with you, regardless of what the weather is like. It’s up to you as the responsible pet owner to keep them indoors if it’s too hot for them.
If you have a younger Pug, they will be able to tolerate the heat more than an older Pug. When keeping them indoors, make sure they have access to their food and water.
You’ll also want to make sure that you keep the room temperature at a comfortable level. We keep our home at 70℉ in the Summer and 7270℉ in the Winter.
If it got any hotter Mindy would be lying on her bed panting uncontrollably. Think of your Pug as a thermostat, they will let you know if you need to turn the air conditioner up in the hot weather.
#6 Keep Them Comfortable When Traveling
Mindy loved going for drives with us and we would put her in the back seat with us. It gets really hot where we live and always use the air conditioner during the Summer.
Whenever Mindy was in the vehicle with us, we had to turn the air conditioner on higher than normal. If we didn’t, she would start panting like crazy.
Make sure that you have a little throw blanket for yourself if you’re traveling with an older Pug in the car. When she was a puppy, we didn’t have to worry so much, because she didn’t get too hot.
Understanding The Signs of Heatstroke
Exposing your put to the heat for long periods of time can cause heatstroke. As a Pug owner, you need to know what the symptoms are:
- Loss of Consciousness
- Glazed Eyes
- Heavy Panting (having issues stopping)
- Excessive Thirst
- A Deep Purple Tongue
- Lack of Coordination
A Pug suffering from heatstroke can show only a few of these symptoms. If you think that Fido is suffering from heatstroke, here are some steps to take immediately.
Move them to the shade and get them to drink water: You never want to give your Pug ice cold water, because it can make them vomit. Instead, give them cold water from the kitchen faucet and try to get them to drink some water slowly.
Try to lower their body temperature: The best thing you can do is have some cooling packs, ice packs or something cold to press against their body.
We went out of town one weekend and had our neighbor watch Mindy. Our neighbor felt sick and came to our place and took Mindy to their home so he wouldn’t have to walk to our house.
Well, when we got home and went to pick up Mindy, she was overheated. Our neighbor had the temperature in their house way too high and it caused Mindy to overheat.
We didn’t have any cooling packs, so we grabbed some frozen ice packs from the freezer and put them against her body. It took a long time for her to cool down and breath normally.
It was a scary situation to watch your best friend’s tongue hanging out of their mouth and unable to breathe normally. Thankfully we had pet insurance and took her to the vet to make sure that she didn’t experience any complications from the overheating episode.
Get them to the veterinarian: If you have tried everything above and still can’t get your Pug back to normal, you will want to take them to the veterinarian. You can find a reputable vet by searching Google or asking a friend or family for referrals.
If Fido has shown signs for overheating, you may want to take them to the vet to ensure they make a full recovery.
Keeping Pugs Comfortable At Night
As I mentioned above, as long as you keep them indoors and keep an ideal room temperature, they will be fine. Mindy was always comfortable as long as the room temperature never got above 72℉.
During the Summer months, you could give your Pug some cool sweet treats. Mindy used to love it whenever we gave her fun frozen treats to eat. (they are messy and your Pug will have a hard time getting their head in the container)
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