Tips to Keep Your Dogs Cool in the Summer Heat
24 June, 2015
Summer is already heating up and most of our dogs don’t like the heat. Or at least, they react to it by becoming lethargic and dogs don’t have the ability to cool themselves by sweating as we humans do. Panting is their way to keep themselves cool. But, in the hot summer months, it’s important to help your dog’s keep cools since they can’t on their own.
Below are some tips to help your dog stay cool during the hot summer months:
Keep cool water readily available for your pup
To keep your dogs’ cool in the summer, it is essential that you keep fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times. In hot weather, this is even more crucial. Make sure you keep the water dish in a shady location and change the water frequently. If you want to keep fresh water available outdoors, you might want to look into a watering system that hooks up to a faucet.
Make sure to take your dogs on shorter walks in early morning or evening
During the hot summer days, the best time to walk your dog is in the early morning or evening. If you can, wait until the sun goes down to give your dog some relief. And, dogs can feel the sun on their paws and can get sun burn. If you are heading to the dog park, just let your dogs’ play for a short time. They can’t tell us that they are overheated so it’s best to keep all sun exposure and outdoor time to a minimum.
Try a cooling dog bed since they sleep a lot in the heat
You might want to try a cooling dog bed where your dog can escape to during the day. While a dog bed is nice and soft, it might also be too warm. However, a cooling dog bed can offer the comfort and softness of a typical dog bed with the coolness your dog craves. Cooling dog beds often use a gel-like material or simply water to keep the bed feeling cool. These beds are especially great for senior dogs as an alternative for hard floors or even carpet.
There are several other products out there designed to cool off your dog. Some work better than others, and often it just depends on the dog. If you decide to try out one of these products, just remember that nothing can substitute fresh water and shade. No dog should go for long without plenty of both. There are a variety of cooling dog vest, collars and crates with cooling fans.
Try a misting fan, but not a regular fan
Misting fans and aerosols that spew water into the air also lower the temperature and can keep your dog’s fur damp. When your dog gest misty, it also helps her or him cool off when the water evaporates. Misters can be placed on the porch, deck or near the puppy playpen and will keep your dog cool. Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) And regular fans don’t cool off pets as effectively as they do people.
Make sure your dog has shelter from the sun
Your dog might enjoy a little sunbathing, but he or she ultimately needs a cool, shady spot to relax. The best thing you can do for your dog is to offer shelter. Shade from trees works, but an actual structure is better. Consider getting an insulated dog house, but make sure it is large and well-ventilated or you can try an open-air tent or canopy. Of course, the most ideal shelter is in your home with a doggie door to allow indoor access.
Dogs love little kiddie pools to cool themselves off
If your dog loves water, then a large tub or kiddie pool (molded plastic, not inflatable) might be a great addition to your yard. You can find tubs or pools at most home stores. Many dogs enjoy playing and lounging in the cool water. Just make sure you supervise your dog at all times. Also, keep the pool in a shady spot and change the water frequently.
Never leave your dog in a hot car
We all know how hot it gets in our car, even when it is not even that warm out. Therefore, don’t even think about leaving your dog in the car while you are running errands or any time during the summer. It’s cruel and way too hot for our doggies and can cause heat stroke and death.
No matter what you do to keep your dog cool, the best thing you can do is to keep a close eye on your pup. When in doubt, get your dog to a cooler area. Be sure to contact your vet immediately if you notice signs of heat stroke or extreme lethargy.