To keep your dog cool in hot weather, you need to be well prepared and proactive. Not only is it important to have fun when the weather gets nicer, but it’s also important to remember how to cool your dog down in the heat. The goal is to reduce the risk of heat stroke and ensure your pet stays healthy and happy. We’ve compiled the best tips for keeping friends on four legs comfortable in hot weather, so you can enjoy the sun and keep your dog safe.
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Plan walks carefully
Avoid walking your dog in hot weather, as pets can’t withstand the heat as well as humans. Even on a warm day, dogs can overheat, especially if they are exercising. Consider whether it might be better for your pet to go for a walk very early or late in the evening, when the temperature has dropped significantly, or to stay busy at home. Pay attention to the weather when planning a walk and take regular breaks in the shade.
Dogs’ paws can burn on hot sidewalks. Generally, if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for the dog’s paws. If it’s too hot for the usual long walk, keep your dog mentally stimulated with brain games instead. Refresh your pet’s basic training or teach him new tricks.
Cool off your dog in the heat: don’t forget cold water
Water is important for your dog year-round, especially on hot days. When you’re out and about with your pet, make sure you always have a bottle of water and a bowl for your friend on four legs to drink from.
Cold water has the immediate effect of cooling the dog from the inside . In addition, he is more likely to drink water that has a low temperature. However, every now and then in the summer, the water in the bowl warms up quickly. If you add ice cubes to the water bowl, you can quickly lower the water temperature.
- Check regularly to see if your dog’s water bowl needs refilling.
- Use multiple water bowls if needed. For example, one inside and one outside.
- Place your dog’s water bowl out of direct sunlight to keep the water cool.
Use an ice cold ice pack
You probably already have everything on hand to make an ice pack yourself. Take a water bottle, fill it with water and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, place it on the floor under your dog’s chin. Or fill a zip lock bag with ice cubes and give it to your pet to lie on. If you want to sacrifice a package of frozen peas, that works too, or you can also use a cold pack.
Cool off dog in the heat with damp towels.
Dogs cool themselves from the bottom up, so it’s important that their paws and belly don’t get too hot. Laying out damp towels or blankets is a simple and effective way to keep your dog cool in the heat.
Simply hold the towel under a cold tap and wring out the excess water to create a portable cooling mat in the house or yard. Remember to replace it regularly to maintain its effectiveness. You can also invest in a cooling mat. These are a great way to keep your dog cool and are readily available online.
Get wet and buy freezable toys
Playing with water is a great way to cool your dog down in hot weather, and it’s a lot of fun. Set up a sprinkler or shallow wading pool in your yard to refresh your dog while he plays. Always watch your pet when they are playing in the water and never let them swim unsupervised.
For puppies or older dogs that like to chew, you can purchase freezable chew toys – another great way to keep your pet occupied with a toy in a shaded area.
Watch for signs of heat stroke.
Dogs suffer heat stroke when they overheat. Heat stroke occurs when a dog cannot lower its body temperature and can be fatal. It’s important to know how to avoid heat stroke and watch for the signs, as your pet will need urgent veterinary care.
Any dog can suffer heat stroke, but overweight, young, older, flat-faced, giant breeds and dogs with thick coats are especially at risk, even if they only spend time outside in hot weather.
Signs of heat stroke include:
- Heavy panting
- Confusion or loss of coordination
- Drooling or foaming at the mouth
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Shaking or weakness
If you suspect your dog is having heat stroke, you need to act quickly. Contact your veterinarian immediately. While contacting the veterinarian:
- Take your pet to a shady place.
- Keep him calm and still.
- Place him on a cool, wet towel, cooling mat or put him in the breeze of a fan.
- Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cold water.
- Pour cool water over the dog’s feet, ears, and head. Never use ice or very cold water as this can cause shock.
- Gradually begin pouring cool water over the dog’s body, but not so much that he begins to shiver.
- If possible, continue to cool your dog on the way to your veterinarian.
Please be careful. Never leave your dog in a hot car in the summer!