Although Vizslas have thin single layered coats, they are still prone to overheating when the summer months start getting spicy. This article will run through the best ways to keep your Vizsla cool and safe throughout summer.
What Temperature Is Too Hot For a Vizsla?
Many owners ask me how hot, is too hot? And that’s a very good question.
The ideal temperature range for Vizslas is between 10-18C (50-65F). As the temperature rises above 20C (68F), it becomes increasingly uncomfortable for your Vizsla, and they will find it difficult to regulate their body temperature. Over 20C is also when dehydration and heatstroke can happen easily.
While you can use these figures to help, they are just guidelines and it doesn’t mean that the moment it gets over 20C outside your Vizsla is doomed…
Additionally, Vizslas who live primarily in hot countries will actually adapt to tolerate it better than those who are used to cooler temperatures.
9 Ways To Keep Your Vizsla Cool In Hot Weather
So let’s run through some of the most important tips to keep your Vizsla cool and comfortable in summer.
- Avoid midday sun
- Multiple water bowls
- Elevated cooling beds
- Avoid hot walking surfaces
- Exercise at the right time
- Make a dedicated “cool room”
- Damp towels in the shade
- Ice treats
- Paddling pool
1. Avoid midday sun
In most regions, the hottest time of the day is around 12-4 pm, and during these hours, your Vizsla is much better off indoors, inside a cool room.
Vizslas LOVE to sunbathe just like most dogs do, but it’s best to stick to the mornings and evening when the sun is lower and not as strong.
By avoiding the hottest part of the day, you are instantly reducing the chances of your Vizlsa getting dehydrated or suffering from heatstroke.
2. Multiple water bowls
Most households only have a single water bowl that’s conveniently located next to the food bowl. But in the summer, it helps to pick up a few more and dot them around the house and in the yard.
Most Vizslas don’t drink enough water as it is, so it helps to make it as easy as possible for them. So by having multiple bowls of fresh water constantly insight, your Vizsla will be inclined to drink more.
Staying hydrated is absolutely CRUCIAL for your Vizsla to avoid heatstroke and to be able to regulate their temperature.
In addition to providing more bowls, ensure to keep the water fresh and cool. It turns out that dogs are less inclined to drink if their water is filled with gunk, muck and is warm.
3. Elevated cooling beds
An absolute must for the summer will be an elevated cooling bed. They sound fancy, but they’re actually really simple and do a great job keeping dogs cool.
Most are made from a lightweight aluminum frame, with a perforated trampoline-like material as the bed. They are raised off the floor around 6-10 inches, depending on which one you get.
The reason they work so well is that while your Vizsla is laying down, the breeze can wisp underneath and the breathable material allows your Vizsla to successfully expel heat.
My dogs love theirs to the point it’s hard to get them off it. This is the one I’ve got:
4. Avoid hot walking surfaces
Your Vizsla’s paws are the first point of contact to the ground and are naturally sensitive to heat (both cold and hot). A good rule to remember is if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for his paws.
Certain walking surfaces like tarmac, pavement and specific woods can get hot enough to the point they will burn his paws. This is extremely painful and can lead to a trip to the vets.
Consider what surface your Vizsla is walking on in your yard and when out exercising. Mud and grass are always the best options.
5. Exercise at the right time
Regardless of how hot your summers are, exercising your Vizsla will of course remain a top priority, and can’t be avoided.
This falls hand in hand with avoiding the midday heat.
To avoid overheating, it’s important to exercise your Vizsla early in the morning (the best time) or late in the evening when the sun is low. Mornings are better than evenings due to a lower temperature.
And be sure to take a handy dog bottle/bowl to provide plenty of water throughout.
6. Make a dedicated “cool room”
This was essential for my dogs when I lived in south east Asia where temperatures would see 35C (95F).
I ensured that one room of the house was always accessible, even if I wasn’t there, and was kept under 20C. This was achieved by running the AC, using UV blocking blinds, cool air blowers, and a ceiling fan (although that probably didn’t do too much!).
By having a room that your Vizsla can retreat to whenever she feels too hot is invaluable! This is pretty much the golden ticket for your Vizsla.
Admittedly, it’s hard for us to know exactly when our dog feels too hot, but if they know where to go, then they will seek the room whenever they feel like they need to.
7. Damp towels in the shade
If you’re having a family day outside in the yard, I already know how difficult it will be to keep your Vizsla cooped up inside. Vizslas love being part of the action and the sun won’t stop them!
The best way to combat the afternoon heat is to lay down a few damp towels in the shade for her to lay on. Damp towels can absorb a lot of body heat and your Vizsla will remain comfortable and safe providing she stays put.
To help keep her on the towels in the shade, try an awesome frozen treat: a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter (Xylitol-free only) and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
8. Ice treats
Frozen treats are an excellent and tasty way to keep your Vizsla cool. They may not last long, but even temporary relief from the heat will do your Vizsla a world of good.
Some of the easiest ice treats to make are peeled frozen bananas, frozen whole carrots (large only), or ice cube-infused treats (try adding chicken stock or peanut butter before freezing).
One of my dog’s favorites, as I mentioned previously, is a Kong toy stuff with peanut butter and then frozen. The peanut butter takes a while to thaw and makes the perfect prolonged treat to keep them entertained and satisfied.
9. Paddling pool
Talk about saving the best for last, right? Get a paddling pool!
Vizslas love to swim, and with a little swimming practice, make excellent swimmers.
Please remember to take caution, supervise your Vizsla, and use a doggy lifejacket until your Vizsla is a very competent swimmer.
There’s no better way to keep your Vizsla cool, exercised, and entertained all at once other than swimming in your backyard.
Can Vizslas Live In Hot Countries?
A surprisingly common question from prospective owners is whether or not Vizslas can live in hot countries.
The simple answer is yes, Vizslas can live in hot countries, and can adapt quite well as long as you give them a little help. By avoiding the midday heat and providing a cool room at all times, your Vizsla will have no problem living in a hot country.
It is important, however, to ensure you won’t be leaving them alone. Vizslas don’t cope well when left alone regardless of the weather, but when it’s hot, further complications arise.
You must be there to ensure your Vizsla is safe, isn’t overheating, and is comfortable. It’s not fair to get a Vizsla if they will be left alone for most of the day, which will only be made worse in hot weather.
Signs Your Vizsla Is Too Hot
Let’s run through some of the signs to watch out for that will indicate your Vizsla is too hot. If you notice these signs it’s necessary to get your Vizsla to a cooler environment asap.
Signs your Vizsla is overheated:
● Bright red or blue gums/tongue
● Sticky saliva
● Very hot to touch
● Lethargy or general weakness
● Unable to stand/walk straight/dizzy
● Excessive panting
● Any further unusual behavior
If you notice a selection of the signs happening at the same time, you know for sure your Vizsla is already too hot and requires help.
It’s necessary to move him to a cooler location, try to encourage him to drink water, and call a vet for further guidance over the phone.
They will likely ask specific questions about your Vizslas behavior, the events leading up to this moment, and whether or not he’ll need further help.
Additional reading PetMD: Heatstroke In Dogs
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Thank you for reading!
Check out many other Vizsla articles here on The Puppy Mag.