During the high heat of the summer, your dog will be unable to properly regulate their temperature in the same way that people can. This is unfortunate as Summer is a fun time of the year for dogs and families alike. Most dogs still adore playing outside in spite of the heat. However, summer safety needs to be taken seriously, and it is up to individual owners to ensure that a dog stays cool in the heat. Luckily, there are several steps dog owners can take on the sunniest days of the year to keep a dog cool in the heat.
Be aware that dogs can suffer heatstroke which can be fatal in minutes. Dogs rely on panting, and discharging heat through their paw and wet nose, to control their own body temperature. Heat stroke is easily preventable if proper safety measures are taken. So here some ideas on how to keep dogs cool in the heat.
Clearly, if you have air-conditioning in your home and your dogs are bright enough to stay indoors with you during a really hot day, then that is naturally the top choice. But then again not everyone has air conditioning and not every single dog is going to want to spend their time relaxing in the house, so it is up to individual owners to work out the balance that is best for their dog.
Circulate Cold Air
Open up all of the windows in your house, put on a fan or switch your air conditioning to a cool temperature. A dog will always appreciate having a chilled place to go inside if it is sweltering outdoors.
Keep Dogs Out Of Glasshouses
In your yard, conservatories and glasshouses can get perilously hot even when it might feel only slightly warm outside. Take into consideration that there are no cooling drafts inside sun traps and they increase the heat.
Do not forget that dogs are vulnerable to getting a sunburn, predominantly those dogs who have white ears and noses. Catching the sun can lead to aching, scorching and blisters, and continuing sun exposure can ultimately lead to your dog forming skin cancer. It is now even possible to purchase dog sunscreen to spread over any hairless areas on the body.
Ice Drinking Water
If it is a hot day, you will have a cool drink so its possible that your dog would like to have one also. Basically, keep their water fresh and ice cold it by refilling it frequently. It is fine to add ice to their water bowl as it helps to lower the water temperature. Also, have some fun with your dog and make them some dog-friendly popsicles. Try making up some frozen icicles with flavored water as your dog might love them.
Never Ever Leave A Dog In A Parked Car For Any Length Of Time
The temperatures inside of a vehicle can reach extraordinarily high levels on a hot summer’s day, and it takes only 15 minutes for a dog to start reaching high levels of overheating.
Always Leave Out A Bowl Of Water
Make it easy for your dog to drink from a fresh bowl of water. It is just common sense, but you had better check your dog’s water bowl frequently and replenish it whenever it seems to get low. If you often take your dog for a summer walk, remember to take a bowl with you to ensure that they do not overheat. Always keep your eye out for the nearest water fountain too It is vital that you keep cool water accessible for your dog at all times. In really hot weather, this is even more critical. Ensure you keep their water bowl in a shady location if it is outside and change the water often. For more options, check out our detailed review of dog water bottles.
Look Out For Water Fountains
Installing a dog water fountain or a watering system that links up to a faucet is a great idea. These systems are intended to deliver water as needed and are typically triggered by the motion of your dog walking by. When you go to the local dog park, take along as much water as you can carry for both yourself and your dog so that you both stay well hydrated.
Sweat Made Easy
Different to us, dogs do not sweat through their skin when they get really hot. Dogs mostly cool themselves through their comprehensive respiratory system which permits them to breathe out the hotness. There are jackets that owners can buy to help to keep dogs cooler in warm weather which help to transfer heat from the dog’s body helping to cool off your dog. They are a help when walking with dogs on sunny days.
Give Your Dog Chilled Things To Bite
When you are at home or out in the yard, try giving your dog a cool toy to play with. Freeze one of their favorite chew toys to give them an ice-cold treat.
Consider Your Playtime
Ensure that your dog does not play too much while they are out in the sun. During hot spells walk dogs really early in the morning or very late in the evening to avoid the direct heat of the sun. Always ensure that your dog takes regular breaks sandwiched between playing. This includes swimming, mostly if your dog does not usually venture into the water. Your dog might enjoy swimming too keep cool in a safe place but overdoing it might lead to overtiredness, low blood sugar and dogs can get something called ‘swimmer’s tail’ which is where it starts to hurt them.
Check On The Pavement
It is a good idea to check the tarmac before you go out for a walk. A dogs’ paws easily burn on very hot pavements and generally, if it is too hot for you, it will too hot for your dog’s paws. If the pavement starts to get hot as you are out and about try to sticking to walking on the grass.
Cool Down Your Dogs’ Bed
A dog has a requirement for a cool place to relax which covers a place in your house. Your dog’s bed is probably pleasant and soft but it may also be far too warm in hot weather. This is when you may notice that your dog chooses to lie on a cold tile floor when the weather is hot outside. A cooling dog bed gives your dog the option of luxury and softness of a normal dog bed with the chilliness your dog needs. You can find cool pads that can be used to keep the bed’s temperature cold. Using cooling pads in your dog’s bed are particularly great for older dogs as a substitute to the cold hard floor. Take a look at our review of dog cooling vests for more options.
Make A Shaded Spot
Usually, your dog will seek out a naturally arising shaded spots in your yard, but it is important to create one if not by putting some blankets or cardboard up to keep out the sun. You could always use an outdoor thermometer in the shade to aid you in discovering the most chilled area for your dog. Collapsible children’s tents are also available and can be used for your dog to keep them cool and they can be folded up to be used as needed.
Spray Them With A Hose
Clearly using a garden hose to cool down your dog will defiantly help in a fun way, but hosing a dog down does waste lots of water. Also, some dogs are frightened of the hose or might get injured by the water. As an alternative, contemplate using a misting attachment especially for the purpose that attaches to the hose and then sprays a very fine mist of water much like a water fountain. These misters are available everywhere and are not usually expensive. They are fantastic for cooling your dog and family.
Work On Your Dog’s Weight
It is more difficult for overweight dogs to keep cool in hot weather and they are more at risk of overheating. It is important to help your dog keep healthy and active. Some dogs that have an underlying medical condition, making losing weight tricky, need to do so slowly.
Give Your Dog A Paddling Pool
When you use a paddling pool in your yard for your dog, you must remember to regularly check the temperature of the water if it is left out in the sunshine. It will take a longer time for water to warm up in a pool so keep an eye on it. Also, if the water in the pool is too cold it may lead your dog to become hypothermic.
Keep Your Dog’s Coat Trim
It may be funny to see a fluffy dog nonetheless, from the position of keeping them cool on a hot day, it is often not a great idea to keep them too furry. What you can do to help keep your dog cool is to brush them frequently to help rid them of any undercoat that was there to help them to stay warm during the winter months. Regular brushing like this will help to thin out a thicker coat but not remove it like shaving the coat would.
Go Wild Swimming
This is an outstanding exercise for dogs and a fun exercise alternative to simply going for a walk in the heat. Not all dogs enjoy swimming though, so if yours is not having fun then do not make them take part and absolutely never them never force a dog into the water. When swimming be cautious of the times of the tides when at the beach. Drinking salty water even by accident is probably going to make your dog ill and is not that great for them so take fresh drinking water with you to the beach. Wash any sand from your dog’s coat when you are done to stop it drying and frustrating their skin in the heat.
Be mindful of the dangers in lakes, ponds and rivers and ensure that they are clean before your dog dives right in. Also, look out for the strength of currents in rivers. There are some kinds of algae, know as blue-green algae, which are toxic to dogs so contact your vet instantly if your dog becomes sick after being in the water. Dogs can and sadly sometimes do get into difficulty in rivers and the sea so take good care.
Avoid Long Road Trips
When you cannot avoid taking your dog out in the car, ensure that you have good ventilation and that the air conditioning is on. Correspondingly, take adequate amounts of water and take regular stops for a drink break and to grab some fresh air. Remembering that if it is too hot for people then it will be too hot for your dog. If your dog starts to show any signs of overheating then you will need to cool them down steadily and take them to your vet. Never leave a dog alone in a parked car for any length of time.
It must be said that heatstroke is a serious condition that can happen to dogs on hot days, particularly for dogs who are young, old, or sick. Some of the signs of heatstroke include disproportionate panting and salivating, clear discomfort, disorientation and vomiting.
It is important to keep in mind how to keep your dogs cool in the heat to prevent them from becoming hurt or sick. Summer should be lots of fun for everyone outside with your dog and family. But then again when the temperatures sky rocket you will need to know the important steps to take in order to protect your dog. Whether you are taking your dog for a stroll down your street, a journey in your car or you are simply letting them outside in the yard to play on a sunny day, the hot weather can be hard on them so keep your best friend safe in the heat.