Dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke affects thousands of dogs every year. Most people know not to leave a dog in a vehicle during hot weather. However, even a dog in a crate at home can be at risk. This is why keeping proper ventilation with dog crate fans is important.
What is a dog crate fan?
A dog crate fan is designed to remove the warm air from inside the dog’s kennel and circulate fresh air for better ventilation, keeping the dog cooler. These units attach to the crate and are generally about 6 ½ inches (16.5 cm) long, 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide, and 7 inches (17.8 cm) tall. Dog crate fans are unique, portable units that are helpful not only at home but wherever a dog may be crated.
Dog crate fans usually run on two D-cell batteries, so they don’t have to be plugged in. However, some units also have a three-volt adapter and/or a DC car adapter (they may be sold separately). Most of these fans work on both wire and plastic crates. They feature retractable arms and hang on the outside of the kennel’s front door in order for the air to circulate close the dog’s head. These units have a low and a high setting and are compact and lightweight, making them easier to pack and store during trips or when not needed during the cooler months of the year.
Some designs can be set to automatically activate when a specific temperature is reached. A few units also feature an optional cooling cartridge. This is a freezer pack insert that snaps onto the front of the fan to provide extra cooling power for up to two hours.
Heat-related health issues in dogs
Pets can become overheated, especially in the hot weather of summer. Even high humidity can affect a dog in a negative way. Dogs require plenty of water in order to prevent dehydration. When a dog dehydrates, it experiences an excessive loss of body fluids and water as well as a decrease of electrolytes, including the essential minerals potassium, sodium, and chloride. Always make sure your dog has lots of water, whether it’s in or out of its crate. Dehydration in dogs is serious and can lead to organ failure and death.
Specific breeds, such as pugs and English bulldogs, have a higher risk of heat exhaustion due to their shortened upper respiratory passages. In addition, dogs with thick coats and those with heart disease and poor circulation are at more risk for heat-related health issues.
A dog’s normal body temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees F (38 to 39 degrees C). If a dog’s temperature rises to 106 degrees F (41 degrees C), it’s at risk for developing heat exhaustion. If the body temperature rises higher than that, the dog is in danger of heat stroke, irreversible organ and brain damage or even death (heatstroke can happen in minutes). Dogs rid their body of heat by panting; however, panting by itself is sometimes not enough when the temperature really soars. Installing a crate fan, and making sure your dog always has plenty of water to drink, are the best protections against the danger of excessive heat.
Benefits of dog crate fans
Air circulation with a dog crate fan allows your dog to breathe easier, to keep cooler and therefore, be more relaxed and calm on a hot summer day. That circulating air increases the crate’s ventilation and comfort level. Dog crate fans are made to run quietly, in order not to frighten a pet and to keep your home or vehicle from being plagued with a loud, obnoxious noise.
Dog crate fans protect a pet from the summer heat and humidity. Dogs can overheat either outdoors or in a poorly ventilated space, such as a crate. Portable dog crate fans can be used in the home, while traveling, or at dog shows. Research the type and model that fits your needs, and the needs of your four-footed friend.