We have finally reached the end of what was a incredibly scorching summer here in southern Germany. I am used to this sort of heat from home in Indiana…..but at least we had air conditioning.
This is one of the big differences between the US and Europe. Most buildings in the US of A are compared to freezers with their average 70 degree temperature (21 celsius). On the other hand – most buildings in Europe don’t even have A/C.
I am so grateful that my work requires regulated temperature (I work in a lab that requires me to wear a thick lab coat and pants year round……even in 90 degree temperature)
Unfortunately the same thing cannot be said about our apartment. During this 90 degree (30+) heatwave, there was nothing you could do but sit in front of a fan in your underwear (or naked – if you’re daring), drink lots of water, watch lots of Netflix in order to minimize movement as much as possible.
The heat sucks – but we survive. Humans, I mean. That doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about my dog.
Dogs can’t sweat so they have to pant in order to cool themselves down. With Brachycephalic dogs (those with short or nonexistent snouts like Pug, Bull Dogs, and Frenchies), this adds another problem because they already have trouble breathing. This makes it hard for them to cool down.
Once temperature reaches above 75 – you need to take extra care that your pug doesn’t over heat…..with our heatwave, it could be over 75 in the middle of the night!
So I came up with a short list of what I did to keep my little Abner cool without A/C:
1. Make sure you have a fan…
This should be a given. If you don’t have A/C, you still need air flow. I got mine at Media Markt and for about 20 euros or so and it did the job. Make sure to run it at night if you need to. This was hard sometimes because T is used to not living with A/C or a fan so keeping a fan on at night makes it hard for him to sleep. On the other hand, without it, both Abner and I can’t sleep. There’s no winning during a heatwave.
2. Give your dog a bath
Abner hates baths. He looks this pathetic every. damn. time. But he needs it to keep cool (also because he occasionally smells like Fritos cornchips). The key is to not douse your dog in ice cold water. Cooling your dog means bringing your dog to a healthy temperature naturally – so only use tepid water. Of course you can’t give your dog a bath all the time which is why…
3. Evian is your best friend….
I got these at our local Mueller. It’s a simple Evian water spray. As I said before – Abner hates baths…water sprays are no better for him. Sometimes I notice that he is still panting pretty hard at night so I would use this spray and use it on his back and belly and most importantly on the inside of his legs (where there are a ton of blood vessels clustered). These are also good for humans, too!
4. When your dog needs to go – let him, but not too long…
Be wary of taking your dog for walks in this temperature. Pugs should not be outside for more than 15 minutes. Unfortunately, Abner loves to be warm and will even seek out sunspots on hot days so keeping his walkies to a minimum can be surprisingly difficult.
5. Make sure your pooch always has access to water…
This should also be a given. But like number 2, don’t put ice in the water. Let your dog’s body temperature come down slowly. Then when it’s relatively normal, then ice cream and ice chips are a go (Abner loves both).
As you can see, it’s not hard. But with flat-nose breeds like pugs, you do need to be vigilant. Abner spent his first five years in the states with the luxury of A/C. Now he is in Europe, he is no longer so comfortable. But he could at least survive!
And yours can, too!
I will leave you with this adorable photo of Abner sleeping with his teddy bear. Awwwwwww…..
Bis naechste Woche!