By Cris Carl, Networx
Whether you are selecting your first dog or moving to a new location, it is important to know what climate your dog will thrive in. Conversely, if you live in a climate your dog would not naturally be acclimated to, you may need to make some adjustments for the health of your dog. While it may seem obvious that if a dog has long hair they would fare better in a cold environment and vice versa, there are several other factors to consider. Dr. Steven Ellis DVM of the Sunderland Animal Hospital in Massachusetts offers some good advice on climate and your dog.
If you live in a colder climate
Ellis said that dog breeds that thrive in colder environments, such as Huskies, Newfoundlands and Retrievers, have a double coat of fur to keep them warm. “Those are the dogs that have been bred for a colder environment. They can take the cold and snow better,” said Ellis.
However, they also have a lot more hair to shed, especially in the spring, when the dog’s undercoat is shed. “You have to have a really good vacuum and be willing to live with a lot of hair floating around your house,” said Ellis. Ellis told a story of a dog owner who said she always buys an inexpensive vacuum to keep hair off her flooring, but with an extended warranty due to her dog’s shedding. “She said eventually, the motor seizes up or burns out from all the hair.”
If you live in a warmer climate
Ellis said that while it seems many people live with air conditioning in Baltimore and other climates that get hot in the summer, there are breeds that thrive better in warmer climates, but not necessarily for the reason you might think. Being a short-haired breed such as a Greyhound, Great Dane or Dachshund is helpful in relation to a hot climate. However, the real reason these breeds do better in a warm climate is they do not require a lot of exercise. “Dogs don’t have sweat glands like humans. They pant in order to cool themselves off,” said Ellis. “One breed of dog that does well with hot weather and more in the way of exercise are Poodles. One the other hand, Great Danes are big couch potatoes,” he added. Ellis said that other good breeds of dog for warmer climates are Terriers and Spaniels.