Director Takekuma Katsuro of Takekuma Animal Clinic in Noshiro City, Akita, provided advice on what owners should be most aware of when raising Akita dogs in the summer.
According to Mr.Takekuma, heatstroke is the most important thing to watch for during the hot summer months. Generally, larger dogs and dogs with longer hair are more prone to heatstroke, which Akita dogs fall into both categories.
During summer, the reflected heat caused by asphalt roads is particularly harmful to dogs. Therefore, owners should avoid walking their dogs during the daytime. Instead, early morning or after sunset is preferable. Hot air from a hairdryer after shampooing is also not good for the dogs. Mr. Takekuma suggests cold air is more appropriate.
If you keep your dog’s indoors, it is better to keep the temperature below 25 ℃ and the humidity between 50 to 60 percent when running the air conditioner. A temperature of around 20℃ is the most comfortable for dogs, but it is often too cold for people. Adjusting the temperature to an agreeable level is necessary to provide comfort for everyone.
If a dog appears to have difficulty breathing, drooling excessively, or other symptoms suspected of heatstroke, the first thing to do is take the dog’s temperature. If it is 40 degrees and below, then move the dog to a well-ventilated area or a room with air conditioning and give the dog plenty of water to re-hydrate. If the dog’s body temperature has exceeded 41 degrees, then you should wet the dog with water and give it a fan to cool down as quickly as possible.
Lastly, Mr.Takekuma acknowledged that most dogs can quickly recover if first aid measures are provided within 60 minutes of heatstroke. However, if no measures are taken two hours from the first signs of heatstroke, the effect could be fatal. After administering first aid, Mr. Takekuma recommends taking the dog to the doctor as soon as possible to make sure the dog is okay and not in a severe condition.