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keeping animal cool

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keeping animal cool

Postby Michaela521 » Mon May 01, 2006 5:29 pm

Alright I know that this is a strange question but I and my phd chemist father don't understand this. Here it is and don't laugh. I was going to shave my dog because well summer is here and it would be nice to keep him cool. Strangely enough every single place I go on the internet tells me that a dogs coat actually serves as insulation for the dog to keep him cool during the summer. Every professional groomers site and place I go on the web tells me this as does the person I bring my dog into to have him groomed. I don't get it. I do understand that a dog gives off his heat from his mouth by panting but a dogs body should pretty much be always warmer that the ambient temparature outside. It just makes sense to me that this can only be true if the ambient temparature outside is above his body temparature of which I believe should be around 98.6 degrees. Is there something I am missing here. If you can shed some light on this for me then thanks.
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Postby Khaiy » Tue May 02, 2006 12:49 am

The fur gives an additional barrier between the source of heat (like the sun) and it's blood. This way, the movement of heat has to go source->fur->skin->blood->general increase in body temp, as opposed to source->skin->blood->body.

Anything that forces heat to diffuse through more space will insulate it (that is, cause it to resist change in temperature).

Secondly, you're thinking of only one method by which heat can move. it's true that the dog's body will always be giving off heat to the surrounding environment as long as the ambient temperature is lower than the dog's body temp. The warmer it is, the less this heat will move though, so in high temperatures the dog will not be able to lose as much heat as in lower temperatures. However, heat can also travel by radiation, i.e. sunlight.

So, regardless of the temperature of the dog and its surroundings, heat will still move into the dog by sunlight, and as stated above insulation will help with that. This is even more important than at lower temperatures, because the dog's body will be less efficient at giving off excess heat due to the higher temperatures around it.

I'm not sure if I missed anything, but I think that that's at least the basics of it.
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Postby cardiorrhexis » Tue May 02, 2006 2:14 am

dog's body temps are 100.5 to 102.5 F....
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Postby nugget » Tue May 02, 2006 11:56 am

while all this seems to make a lot of sense, it all depends how much hair ur dog has and where you live. If you have a husky the poor creature should get a haircut, because their coat is to provide extra insulation for the cold condiditions from whih huskies originate.
If you are confused about whether ur dog should get a shave, first look at how much it pants and its activity levels are on hot days. Try not to shave it all off anyway, because the sun is something the coat protects it from aswell. Keep that in mind some protection from that is also necessary.
good luck in your decision making. hope i helped a bit :-)
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Postby Michaela521 » Tue May 02, 2006 4:42 pm

Of course huskies have a undercoat. They shed it off when spring comes along and grow it back in fall. The groomers recommend to use a undercoat rake to get all this dead stuff out during sheding periods. Ironically that is what I have. A Samoyed husky. Do a image search on google for samoyed and you'll see how much hair these gyes have. Even with that undercoat gone they do have alot of hair. It might be recommended to shorten it some or perhaps thin it out more than nature provides for the animal. Don't know though. Thank you all for the extra knowledge. :wink:
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Postby rg » Thu May 04, 2006 7:32 pm

well i must tell dogs have no sweat glands and do not sweat......they keep cool themselves thrg panting only....so there is no use of shavin a dog....panting is the only mode of thermoregulation in acse of dogs....
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Postby Michaela521 » Fri May 05, 2006 6:05 pm

Ok Ok so many opinions. So let me get this straight. I have a beagle and these gyes have very short hair. So if I take the beagle and the samoyed outside for a walk while it is sunny out the samoyed should be cooler than the beagle, but if the sun isn't shining that day but cloudy the beagle should be cooler than the samoyed sense the suns radiation cannot beat down on the beagle and the samoyed will retain the heat more (thicker fur) given off from his own body.

Fortunately for the samoyed the temparature outside can never be really hot if it isn't sunny. By this logic the Samoyed has an extra edge over all other dogs with shorter hair for keeping cooling outside. So if it is sunny outside it would be good for a dog if he could put on a jacket. As a human this sounds funky.

As a latter note though if the dogs are almost always kept inside, like mine, then the beagle will always be cooler than the samoyed. No sunlight inside.

Does all that sound right. Thanks again for helping.
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Postby 123Herpatology » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:10 am

I would say theres a fine line between that logic, because as you are right about the coat providing a berrier between the suns heat and animals bl00d, large amounts of hair (typical of the sumoyed) would in addition block thermal heat radiating off the skin of the dog. Cold weather jackets focus on this principle by preventing heat from leaving the body and blocking cold air from touching the body. If the dog has a thick coat, it will be more uncomfortable in summer weather compared to the coat of say...a...grey hound?
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Postby 123Herpatology » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:13 am

sorry thats not really advice...I would have sumoyed dog groomed regularly during summer months, provide lots of water, live in ventilated/air cond. spaces, and if possible limit walking to early morning/nightime. Shade is a plus but if its mainly an inside pet then i would say you have that base covered!
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Postby +R@cY » Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:24 am

Not true! Dogs have sweat glands on their paws, at least that's what I was very much sure about. And their fur helps to protect against sunburn, yes, dogs can get it too. Unless their fur is very thick like a husky or something, and their hair isn't driving them crazy, you shouldn't completely shave him/her. Just trim 'em up!
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i know how you feel.

Postby Kaela » Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:29 pm

:lol: i almost did that to. how :?: Well you know how dogs w/long hair you pet their fur and it's hot well i did the exact thing.


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Postby damien james » Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:53 am

We live in Texas and have a big dog (some kind of chow mix I think). We shave him during the summer and he loves it. He doesn't pant near as much and is way cooler.
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