Heat and pets - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-12-2020, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Heat and pets

I almost put this in "other pets" but it does apply to horses as well.

So it's 100°F+ every day here. That means time to break out the electrolytes for Mocha. Got me thinking about how everybody else deals with the heat and their equine and non-equine pets.

I have an almost 11 year old german shepherd and unfortunately I can't leave her inside while I'm gone during the day. I live in a fifth-wheel trailer and if, heaven forbid, the a/c went out it would cook her. I leave her in a 10x30 kennel with 2 doghouses, a roof in the middle and a lean-to. I also have a box fan set up up against the outside of the run pointed at one of her dirt pits she lays in. I also tried a kiddie pool but even in the shade it the water gets uncomfortably hot.

Any ideas of things I could do to help her stay cool? Also do you think it would hurt her if I gave a tiny bit of the horses electrolytes?

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post #2 of 17 Old 07-12-2020, 08:14 PM
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I have a hard time understanding how the water can get uncomfortably hot in the shade. I live in Texas, so I know about heat, but even water in the sun is still cooler than the surrounding air. I'd leave the kiddie pool of water. If it feels good to her, she'll go in, and if not, not. It can't hurt to have it there. If it's truly too hot, she won't use it, right?

Also, do people clip dogs for heat?

Honestly I know a lot of people who leave their pets out in the heat all the time (with shade and water obviously) and it doesn't seem to really hurt them. I don't know a lot about dogs, though -- is 11 years old for that breed of dog? I understand that things get harder when they are older.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-12-2020, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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I live in south Texas. She avoids the kiddie pool(has every summer) if it's not fresh filled. I don't want to take up her shade space with something that she won't use. The life expectancy of a german shepherd is 12-14.

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post #4 of 17 Old 07-12-2020, 08:43 PM
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In the dry part of south Texas? Like the valley? How about an evaporative cooler?

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post #5 of 17 Old 07-12-2020, 10:45 PM
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In my opinion, as a German Shepherd owner, an 11 year old dog that has given you their whole lifetime should not ever be left outside in the heat. She is considered a senior dog, and is particularly as risk for heat-related problems now.

Do not cut her hair, do not provide her horse electrolytes. If she cannot be left outside without having to pant often, she should not be left outside, period.

I have an almost 5 year old German Shepherd. When the weather here (Michigan) is over 90F, she wants to go outside, do her business, and return inside. She has lots of shade opportunities outside, but she just gets way too hot even with those. It's time to figure out how your dog can remain in the trailer with the A/C. There are air conditioners on the market that can be monitored with your phone, that way you can know if it ever fails. Also, I think if your trailer is insulated well enough, or at least has hardwood or laminate flooring, I would bet it would stay cooler longer than you think if the A/C fails. As long as water is available, and you aren't gone for a really long time at once, I think she would ultimately be better off inside than out, even if the A/C fails.

Other things you could do - there are cheap cameras you could install to watch her inside, so if she is showing heat stress, you can hurry home or ask a neighbor to check if your A/C is working. I'm not sure what part of TX you are in, but I'm sure there are indoor boarding kennels and Rover pet watchers that could take her for the day if you will be gone a long time. It's time to figure out something different, she is a senior dog and she deserves it.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-13-2020, 01:59 AM
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I have a 15 -1/2 year old Shepard/lab mix dog. It's been hot for MN 88 degrees 67 percent humidity. My dog is in the house whether I'm gone or not.

Have our AC on it's nice and cool at 66 degrees. She would die of heat stroke if I left her outside. She goes out to go potty then wants right back in.

Also keep her water dish with fresh cold water. It's dumped out re filled twice a day.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-13-2020, 02:40 AM
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Horses have free access to the barn and spend most of the day inside this time of year. When it's really miserable and they are sweaty just from standing in the barn I hose them down.

Dog lives in the house and enjoys the AC. At 13, a large size dog and black he doesn't do well with the heat or sun.

The cats live in the different barns, one in the garage and they seem to deal with heat just fine. They laze the day away and go out to hunt at night so that I find body parts scattered over the barn floor every day.

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post #8 of 17 Old 07-13-2020, 04:48 AM
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An RV isn't like a home in the sense that if the A/C fails it takes a while for it to lose the cool. More like a car though not quite that quick. My parents spend quite a bit of time living in their RV. When the A/C has gone out it is misery and sooner rather than later becomes unbearable.

They have known more than one friend, acquaintance, neighbor in the place they stay that has lost animals due to failure of that system and lost them fairly quickly considering.

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post #9 of 17 Old 07-13-2020, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myhorserules View Post
I almost put this in "other pets" but it does apply to horses as well.

So it's 100°F+ every day here. That means time to break out the electrolytes for Mocha. Got me thinking about how everybody else deals with the heat and their equine and non-equine pets.

I have an almost 11 year old german shepherd and unfortunately I can't leave her inside while I'm gone during the day. I live in a fifth-wheel trailer and if, heaven forbid, the a/c went out it would cook her. I leave her in a 10x30 kennel with 2 doghouses, a roof in the middle and a lean-to. I also have a box fan set up up against the outside of the run pointed at one of her dirt pits she lays in. I also tried a kiddie pool but even in the shade it the water gets uncomfortably hot.

Any ideas of things I could do to help her stay cool? Also do you think it would hurt her if I gave a tiny bit of the horses electrolytes?
Under your current conditions, you’re doing better than most, IMO:)

The one thing I would change would be the box fan. I’m not a fan of box fans:)

I trust the box fan has protection from rain, on the off chance you get rained on, but they are still flimsy/fire hazard things, if they aren’t made for industrial use.

I would spend the money for an outdoor heavy duty extension cord and a small floor style fan with a SEALED motor.. If you have someplace like Northern Tool close by or a hardware store that really is one, you should be able to find one easily:)

I would also put that on a heavy duty outdoor timer, and of course the extension cord should be a heavy gage construction type if you have to use one:)

As long as your dog is breathing well, has plenty of fresh water at all times, and eating, safely keeping the air moving in her turn out space should be sufficient.

You may also want to consider an extra trip or two to the vet for checkups during this rotten weather we are all locked into.

My area is going to see “feels like” of over 100 starting Wednesday. Having lived in SoCal’s Low Desert, very arid, area five years, I can say my horses did a lot better in the desert actual 106 degrees than they do in Middle Tennessee’s 97 degrees with a “feels like” of 106.

I have two 36” and one 42” barrel fans in the barn, on heavy duty outdoor timers. I keep hay out and the horses are content to spend the bulk of these beastly days in the barn.

If they break a sweat, they get showered off - every night until further notice, as I stated to DH

They then go in their stalls and eat supper with those huge barrel fans aimed right at them. ATM I have the timers set to shut off at 1:00 AM.

That’s a whopping electric bill but I would rather pay that, over a vet bill for a sick horse. My horses are 25 & 26. The 25 yr old is now on Prascend for Cushings, and the 26 year old never has been a huge sweater.

They are separated and each horse has two 18 gallon outdoor water tubs. They both have one tub in the shade; one under the overhang, one just inside the barn door. The water is no warmer than tepid by the end of the day.

They both have pure white salt blocks beside their water tubs but I add ~teaspoon of salt to their feed pans every day and I monitor their water intake closely.

****

My dogs live in the house. We spent a load of $$$$ on a whole new HVAC unit in 2018. It had better not even think about quitting.

Hope this helps:)
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-13-2020, 07:20 AM
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BTW What I meant by evaporative cooler is one of those mister things that's designed to be used outdoors. I wasn't sure if that was clear or not.

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