Heat Stress for Working Dogs

Heat Stress for Working Dogs

Susan Allen
Susan Allen

Welcome to Open Range, I’m Susan Allen. Stay tuned because after the break I’ll check in with our field reporter, Greg Martin for the AgriBeef Minute.

I’m Greg Martin with today’s AgriBeef Minute. Heather Smith Thomas is an author and a rancher who writes about the things she knows and one of those topics is heat stress for working dogs.

THOMAS: They kind of need to be in shape, not too fat. If they’re going to go all day they need to be conditioned to that gradually especially if you are going to have hot weather.

Dogs have a different way of coping with heat.

THOMAS: Unlike a horse, they don’t sweat as readily to cool themselves. They do sweat on the nose and they have a few sweat glands but they cool themselves mainly by panting. They can become dehydrated and over heated if they work a long time in the heat.

Ranchers that use dogs in rough terrain where there is little or no water need to be prepared. Thomas reminds ranchers that dogs will put in a lot more miles than either you or your horse so getting your dogs in shape is very important.

THOMAS: You don’t want them to have really long hair in the summer. Some people clip their dogs. If where you are working the cattle there are some water sources the dogs will go into a stream and lie down. If they can do that periodically, they’ll usually not get into trouble.

Unfortunately if dogs get overheated but like horses and people, they can die so plan accordingly. I’m Greg Martin and that’s today’s AgriBeef Minute.

Thanks Greg. Don’t forget Greg will be back each Wednesday with the AgriBeef Minute. Agri Beef Co - Real Families, Great People, Exceptional Beef. I’m Susan Allen.  

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