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A. This is a common problem: wanting (or having) a
dog who’s not quite right for your climate or home environment. Sometimes the right decision is to wait until your circumstances are different, but if you’re willing and able to take some precautions and make smart decisions about the dog’s lifestyle, I don’t see why you can’t successfully live with a
Malamute or any other snow-loving breed, such as a
Finnish Lapphund — even if you call Florida home.
Here are some tips to help northern dogs chill out in the heat. Some other breeds, including
Chinese Shar-Pei, Dogues de Bordeaux,
Pugs, are also
sensitive to heat, and this advice applies to them as well.
Avoid the outdoors during the day. Of course, your dog can go out for potty breaks, but you’ll probably find that he comes back in as soon as possible.
Malamutes and other cold-weather breeds would rather be outdoors on cool mornings and evenings, so schedule walks and playtime for those hours. As a rule, limit strenuous activity when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, though.
It may not seem hot to you, but you’re not wearing a fur coat. Go for two or three short walks instead of one long walk. If it’s hot in the evening, too, play indoors. Provide mental exercise, such as
nose work practice, throw a squeaky
toy down the hall, or
teach him to walk on a treadmill.
Create cool zones around your home. If your dog has access to the outdoors during the day, provide him with a kiddie
pool filled with cool water where he can lounge. He may also dig himself a nice, cool hole beneath a tree. If necessary, provide shade with a sun-protective tarp or deck cover. Your dog will want a cool place to sleep indoors, too. If you don’t have a wood or tile floor, position a fan near his favorite napping area. And always put safety first: If you have an in-ground pool, your furry friend may love to splash around in it, but it’s important to make sure he knows how to
swim — and how to get out of the pool. All that fur can weigh him down when it gets wet. If you’re not home to supervise, your dog shouldn’t have access to the pool.
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