9 Ways To Keep Your Dog Cool In Hot Weather
It's extremely important to make ourselves aware of the different ways we can keep our dogs cool in hot weather. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to heatstroke. The hot summer months or warmer climates, in general, can rapidly cause a dog's body temperature to rise and overheat. When a human overheats, their body acts as a natural cooling system and they begin to sweat it out, dogs don't have that luxury. So when their temperature rises and immediate action isn't taken the repercussions can be severe and even deadly.
It is unfortunately common for a dog to have moderate heatstroke throughout the summer, especially dogs with thicker coats. If heat stroke is caught early, the dog can return to normal with the proper care and/or veterinary assistance if necessary.
Heat stroke prevention is very simple, all it takes is due diligence. Here are some tips on keeping your furry friend cool and safe hot weather:
Walks At Different Times Throughout The Day
Early morning and later in the evening is when the temperature is naturally cooler. If this isn't your regular walking routine, maybe try altering your walk times. If you can squeeze in a short walk before work and a longer one after dinner, the heat will be a lot less demanding.
If you have a strict schedule that you cannot alter, bring water along on your walk. Periodically pausing to give your dog a sip will help keep their body temperature from rising.
Bring Water On Your Walks
Regardless of what time you are walking your dog, water should always be present in warmer climates. Carrying water comes in handy when you need to cool their fur or by periodically giving them sips, as mentioned above.
Another helpful tip is to spray your dogs coat with cool water before going for a walk, this is especially good on those extra hot days.
Keep Your House Cool
When you aren't at home, try having a breeze blowing through the house. If you have A/C, it would be ideal to leave it running on those hot days. If you don't have A/C or are trying to cut costs in the household, try closing all the blinds, leaving the windows slightly open, or leaving a fan on to circulate the air. Basements are naturally the coldest area of your house, so if you have a basement and your dog is allowed in the space, give them access and leave a fan running if possible.
If your dog is crate trained during the day, be sure you leave the crate in an area that is cool and out of direct sunlight. Keep in mind that the crate will naturally restrict them, so leaving it in a warmer location will feel like entrapment.
Doggy Pool / Sprinkler
Some dogs naturally love water. A pool/doggy pool in the backyard for hot summer afternoons could benefit their bodily temperature, especially after a long walk. If you have a large in-ground pool, make sure your dog is supervised while outside.
Another option would be to set up a sprinkler on those hot days. It gives your dog the option to run through it or sip some water when hot. And your grass will also benefit from the watering!
Indoors On Hot Days
Don't leave your dog outside when you aren't home. If this has to happen, make sure they have access to a large quantity of water and shade wherever they may be. And as mentioned above, a kiddie pool minimally filled will also help with the heat.
Be Mindful Of Hot Pavement
Have you ever walked barefoot on hot pavement after the sun has been beating down on it all day? If you have, you'll be familiar with that painful burning sensation, if not, let me tell you, it's not fun. Just as the pavement hurts our feet, it can be painful on your dogs pads as well. if you ever see them limping or lifting their paw, it's because the pain isn't tolerable. So either wet their pads with water, or try walking them when the sun isn't so harsh.
If your dog has a thick coat, make sure to keep them groomed in the summer. This will prevent overheating and panting.
Grooming can be quite expensive, so if you are taking your dog to the groomer regularly, why not try grooming your dog yourself? I have been using Andis clippers on Rocky for 6 years now. These clippers have lasted through years of haircuts and have saved a lot of money over time.
Many pet parents will give their dogs ice cubes or add them to their water for extra cooling. This is a great way to cool your dog down in the summer, but never a way to treat or 'fix' heatstroke; always let your vet assist with that process.
Another great way to give your dog a chilled treat is to freeze their favourite toy. Even adding a treat into the ice cube mixture will make it extra rewarding for them to cool off with. Just be sure your dog doesn't chew or bite the cube, you wouldn't want them to chip or break a tooth.
Cooling mats are a great way to keep your dog cool. Filled with a soft gel, the mat can be used anywhere. The mat naturally cools for up to three hours and doesn't require electricity. For an added chill, it could be frozen for a short time before use.
The mats are non-toxic and latex free; durable, as well as water and scratch resistant. Also a great travel component. Note that the cooling mats are not suitable for outdoors. They are a great component to have inside.
Important Tip For Warm Weather
Never Leave Your Dog In The Car
Under no circumstance should you ever leave your dog in the car. The heat in a vehicle can become 10 to 20 degrees hotter than the temperature outside. Even if your windows are slightly open, your dog may still suffer heat stroke. Doing this can be fatal.
If you are going somewhere your dog isn't welcome, don't bring your dog, simple. Don't go shopping while your dog is in the car, don't run errands, don't spend time away from them if you brought them along; use common sense. Too often we see owners leave their dogs in the car while out. This always ends with the dog passing, getting severely ill, or a bystander saving the day by breaking the car window to release the dog. Don't make that bad decision.
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