BOXER HEAT TIPS
TO RETURN TO MEDICAL ALERTS LIST]
BOXERS (AND THEIR OWNERS.)
(by a non-veterinarian Boxer lover who does dog sports
in hot weather)
First of all, you might ask your vet in your area if they
have any specific
recommendations to help prevent your Boxer from the effects
of heat stress.
Here in Southern CA, we have almost no
indoor dog facilities, so those of us
who are active in dog sports end up taking our Boxers
out in the hot weather
for dog shows, training, and just for fun. While there
are some dangers in
doing this, we have learned, over the years, how to diminish
the risks to our
For those of you in cooler states, you
need to remember that your Boxer, who
is used to cooler weather overall, can overheat faster
when your weather
warms up because they are not used to it. So, in summertime
warm weather everywhere, it is a good idea to be prepared.
First, what happens to dogs in hot weather?
As we know, people 'sweat' as their form
of respiration (cooling off), and
may breathe more heavily.
Dogs do not have the same kind of sweat
glands. They PANT, and they have
some sweat glands on the bottoms of their paws, but that's
Bracecyphalic dogs, like Boxers, have a shorter nose,
and often, additional
flesh inside their mouth and throat which makes their
efficient. In other words, Boxers overheat more quickly
than many other
breeds of dogs, and this is very important to bear in
mind. Weather that
might not be too hot for another dog, MIGHT be too hot
for your Boxer. High
humidity may make it harder for your Boxer to cool off,
So, how can you get your Boxer safely
through hot and humid weather?
1.) Lots and lots of cool, fresh drinking
water, available at all times for
the dog, in the house or in the yard. If the weather is
hot, and your Boxer
is digging, it might be due to heat stress. This is an
important time to
help your Boxer cool off NOW! A child's wading pool filled
with water is a
great idea for many Boxers.
2.) A place to cool off. A dark, quiet place with a fan,
drinking water, a
cool mat to lie on, or again, the child's wading pool
in the yard. You can
buy a 'cool mat' from most pet supply places or you can
make one from wet
3.) A 'wet coat.' Again, you can buy these at dog shows
or from pet supply
catalogs, but you can make one from a wet terrycloth towel
or a chamois.
Place the wet, wrung out 'wet coat' over the dog.
4.) NEVER leave your Boxer unattended in a car, truck
Especially without water and/or shade. Even on cloudy
days, the temperature
can rise quickly in a closed car. And even on cloudy days,
the humidity can
be too much for your Boxer.
Fine tuning...more prevention:
Again because we have to learn to deal
with heat as a constant in Southern
CA, we have learned a few tips over the years to help
our Boxers deal with
Nupro Custom Electrolyte Formula for Dogs:
This is like Gatorade for humans.
It replaces the electrolytes that your Boxer loses in
overheated. You can get this at your pet food store or
some pet supply
places (like JB Wholesale, who always carries it). Some
people use infants'
and children's Pedialyte, which could work in an emergency.
However, do NOT
give your Boxer Gatorade, as it tends to make the dog's
stomach crampy and
that's the last thing you need if your dog is feeling
heat stress. You can
give the Nupro electrolytes in food daily and in water.
It really helps my
Boxers tolerate the heat better.
Vitamin B Complex: My wonderful Southern
CA vet recommends up to 100 mg for
an adult Boxer per day in hot, humid weather. This helps
your Boxer deal
with stress (and heat stress is a form of 'stress') better.
I simply crush
it into my Boxers' food.
Honey: Honey has a lot of vitamins and
minerals, so it helps to restore
lost electrolytes like Nupro or Pedialyte. However, it
isn't as powerful,
but it can help prevent heat stress. Add it to food, or
take a squeeze
bottle with you that is just for your Boxer if you need
to be out in the
heat and humidity.
Doggy Air Conditioner's: You make these
yourself by freezing water in the 1
or 2 litre Coke bottles or other large soda or water bottles.
Put in a
crate or small room with your Boxers, these provide cool
air as they
evaporate, and cool drinking water. Several will keep
your Boxer nicely
cool for several hours.
Splash water on the bottom of their paws,
ears, private parts, and tummies.
This helps to cool them down.
How to tell if you're Boxer is overheating?
Rapid panting, with tongue hanging out,
and a tight look around the eyes.
The Boxer's sides are heaving.
A Boxer who does not ordinarily dig, who
is digging, and who is very dirty.
This Boxer is trying to get to cool ground to cool it's
A Boxer who when drinking water, shoves
its head up to the eyeballs and
tosses water over it's back.
Your Boxer's ears and gums and pink or
white parts get very RED.
Your Boxer is becoming uncoordinated (loss
Okay, so you've provided water, a cool
place, shade, and fortified your
dog's diet against heat stress, exhaustion or heat stroke,
and still your
Boxer is in distress. What to do?
First, call your vet and tell them what
has happened. Follow whatever
directions they give you. If you cannot reach a vet, do
everything you can
to get your Boxer's temperature down. If you can, put
your Boxer in a
bathtub of cool water. In the meantime, splash water on
the bottoms of
their paws, tummies, private parts, and ears. IF your
Boxer is conscious or
still responding, give them water to drink. If they are
panting too hard to
drink the water, trickle just a little in their mouths.
Not a lot or they
might choke. You might place ice packs on their chests
and underbody areas.
Keep trying to contact your vet in the meantime. Depending
upon how severe
the heat stress/exhaustion is, your Boxer may be shocky
and may well need
Summer is our fun time, and should be...With
our wonderful Boxers, it can be
a lot of fun, if you just take a few precautions.