One of the challenges with huskies in Melbourne is the summer heat. In fact, during racing season, races are usually held only when it is under 15 degrees, and the enthusiasts prefer it as cold as possible. While the double coat insulates them from radiant heat, and they do enjoy sunbaking, once its over about 35 degrees, there is a risk of heat stroke. ESPECIALLY as the dogs will sometimes get really excited and chase each other around, completely forgetting how hot it is. On one of the hot days this summer, I actually saw Czar and Frankie run at each other and chest bump! Wish I'd had a camera for that!
Unlike other dogs who often have a bare or lightly furred belly, huskies have a completely furred belly to protect them in the snow. So while dogs with a bare belly can loose heat - my previous dogs classically lay around spread eagled on the coolest patch of floor they could find in summer - the huskies don't have that option.
So, when it gets to 36 degrees, we need to take steps to keep our pups cool. Fortunately, with only four, if one of us can arrange to work from home, we can move them inside to the evaporative cooling. Friends with huskies and mallies swap ideas about how to help the dogs cool off - ice cubes with good-o's, trips to lakes and creeks for swimming, and wading pools.
This summer, I introduced the huskies to icy poles - carefully choosing the ones that are pretty much frozen lemonade with some colouring - and they've learnt that if we pull these little paper packages out of the freezer, it means FOOD!!! They all head out the door in a huge rush. Fortunately, they have lovely manners.
It's quite funny watching how delicately they have learnt to eat around the sticks. When I first gave these to the pups, the sticks got really mangled and I used to worry about splinters in mouths. Now they hardly even break the sticks!
They are happy to walk away from the sticks when they've finished, but they watch carefully when we pick the sticks back up.