We all love to stay cool in summer, including our furry friends! Keeping your dog comfortable, cool, and safe on a hot summer’s day is essential as temperatures rise. A sure way of telling that your dog may be getting a little hot and bothered by the heat is through their breathing. While we, as humans, sweat to cool down, dogs cool themselves down by panting. Remember, dogs react to the heat differently, mainly through panting. Of course, keeping your pet groomed properly and free of matted hair will make your canine companion most comfortable. Talk to us here at Canine Couture to select the best summer cut for your dog. We’ve compiled a list of 8 tips to keep your dog cool in summer that will help your dog beat the heat once and for all!
Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool
1. Provide Plenty of Fresh Drinking Water
Whether at the beach or in your backyard, you should always have plenty of fresh, cold water for your dog. Before going on a walk, you can fill and freeze a dog bowl or ice cream container with a quarter of water. Once the bowl is frozen, you can fill the rest with water. Freezing the bowl will make the water on the top nice and cool while the ice slowly melts at the bottom. Most importantly, you’ll want enough water to last the whole trip. A great tip is always to carry small amounts of water and frozen dog treats (treats in a Kong or a Chilly Penguin). These can be given to your dog every 15 to 20 minutes during activity!
2. Play in the Water
Playing in the water can help to lower a dog’s body temperature in the scorching summer heat. Your dog only needs to be in enough water to get their paws and belly wet and should be supervised if they swim in deeper water. A wet dog is a cool dog, and involving some water play with your dog under sprinklers, in pools, or in lakes can all be fun and cool for you and, more importantly, your dog! Driving with pets to places with shallow, cool water isn’t only a great summer activity but will also help keep your dog cool.
3. Lie Down in the Shade or a Cool Spot
Dogs will instinctively look for the coolest spot to lie down. And if there isn’t one, you can create shade using portable sunshades, patio umbrellas, and pop-up canopies. You could string up a tarp or cloth if needed too! It may be your best option if you want something smaller than a shaded pet bed. They’ll provide reliable shade for your dog in the summertime and are elevated off the ground to help with air circulation and keep them cool. Another option may be a cooling bed. This type of bed is made in different sizes and from heavy-duty plastic. The bed is filled with a cooling gel and is placed flat on the ground. This type of bed is perfect for older dogs or dogs with arthritis.
4. Have an Ice Pack, Cooling Mat, or Wet Towel Handy
This tip is as simple as it sounds. Offering an ice pack, cooling mat, or a wet towel will help to lower your pet’s body temperature when it’s hot outside. Use an ice pack wrapped in a blanket to put in your dog’s bed or place of rest to help your dog cool down and relax on a hot summer’s day. Fill cooling mats with cold tap water, ice packs that you may have to freeze overnight, or cooling gel. They work best when laid on the ground for your dog to sit on, while cool, wet towels work best when draped over your dog. This even works for dogs who have longer coats!
5. Use a Cooling Collar or Vest
Cooling collars and vests are like cooling mats. They contain a special cooling gel to keep your dog’s body cool for a few hours. There are also cooling vests that aim to move heat from your dog’s body to the environment. These coats should be regularly doused in water; as the water evaporates, this should help cool down your dog. Cooling vests are a great option when walking or hiking with dogs on warmer days. However, it’s still essential that you take precautions when keeping your dog cool on sweltering days.
6. Avoid the Midday Heat
Your best option at this time of day is to stay indoors. It may depend on where you live, but temperatures will typically be cooler in the early morning or late afternoon. Therefore, early morning or evening playtime walks and outside time will help avoid the midday heat while giving your dog enough exercise. While this tip may require you to adjust your routine slightly, this small change can significantly impact your dog’s safety when it’s hot outside.
7. Avoid Exercising on Hot Days
Assess the heat and humidity daily before taking your dog out for an activity. If it’s hot, 80 or above, with high humidity, you should avoid any exercise with your dog on this day. Even on a cooler day, you should also check the pavement temperature before walking your dog. For example, asphalt can specifically get extremely hot in direct sun! Using your hand is a great way to check if the ground is too hot for your dog. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’ll be too hot for your dog’s bare feet. At the same time, a walk on a hot day may not seem like much it can put your dog at a greater risk of heatstroke. Overweight dogs and dogs with certain medical conditions are also at more risk.
8. Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car
Even on cooler days, the temperature inside a car can rise dangerously high! If you’re looking to take your dog on a road trip or start traveling with pets in the car this summer, then here are some handy tips:
Keep your car’s air conditioning on when driving with your dog and/or when the vehicle is parked. Don’t park in direct sunlight with your dog in the car. Keep an eye on your dog if they show signs of heatstroke, i.e., panting, salivating, discomfort, or disorientation.
Dogs are prone to fatal heat stroke, so keeping your dog cool during the summer is critical. As pet owners, the last thing we want is for our dogs to get sick or need emergency help from the Veterinarian. Keeping your dog cool will also make them feel happy and healthy.
We Care About Your Dog’s Health and Well-Being
We at Canine Couture hope when the temperatures start to rise, you follow the tips above to help keep your furry friends safe while having fun under the summer sun. And don’t forget to keep your dog appropriately groomed. We offer all types of services, including grooming, touch-up, and washing. Please reach out online to schedule an appointment or submit an inquiry. You can also reach us by phone at 678-947-6556.