Newfoundlands are a large, soft, heavy breed that makes them perfect for cuddling, but their weight and fur can sometimes be a dangerous pair. While their fur is water-resistant, it consists of a long, normally black double coat. That amount and coloring of hair combined with the extra weight Newfoundlands tend to naturally carry make their bodies more sensitive to high heat and humidity. Dogs can only pant and have sweat glands on only their paws and noses-none of which is sufficient to keep a Newfoundland cool enough to stave off heat stroke.
Interestingly enough, Newfoundlands can permanently shed their undercoat in an attempt to adjust to an extremely hot environment. However, the Newfoundland's physical traits make them more prone for sudden heat stroke after particularly rigorous exercising or playing, nonetheless. Seizures, vomiting, cramps, and organ shut-down can result if a dog's temperature exceeds 102 degrees. There are signs to watch for.
A Newfoundland could possibly be on the cusp of suffering a heat stroke if she/he:
Holds a stare in one direction after being in the heat outdoors after strenuous activity
Is excessively panting
Has a shaky or unsteady walk
Has extremely red ears, lips or gums
If a Newfoundland owner observes any of these behaviors and/or if the dog faints, then the owner should give the dog ten minutes in the shade or near air conditioning so that he can cool some before visiting the vet. Another good idea is to use a water hose to spray the Newfoundland cool. It is important to give her/him water to drink that is not too cold. One other technique an owner can use to revive a Newfoundland that has been overtaken by heat is to place honey under the dog's tongue.
If a Newfoundland owner is anywhere near her/his home when the dog begins to waver from the heat, then she/he ought to place the dog in a bathtub or a kiddie pool filled with cool water. One will have to anally check the temperature of the dog using a thermometer. Ice packs are also good to use in this type of emergency in combination with fans.
Steps to take in the prevention and management of heat stroke in a Newfoundland include:
Do not leave a Newfoundland or any pet with breathing problems in the heat for too long.
Limit exercise and play during the summertime.
The best time of the day to take a dog outside is before or after the sun is at its highest peak.
Provide shade if there is no natural shade in any given area where a pet enjoys playing or exercising and always keep cool water on hand.
Never leave a Newfoundland or any pet in a parked car during the summertime.