How to Keep My Dog Cool in the Summer
Even our furry friends get antsy when the weather warms up and the sun comes out to play. But with fun activities like dog-friendly cafes, water parks, and dog beaches popping up all over the country, there are plenty of ways to keep your pup happy and cool all summer long.
A hot summer day can be an uncomfortable experience for any dog. If you live in a climate that becomes quite hot during the summer months, you have probably experienced firsthand how much heat stress can affect your pooch.
How to Keep Your Dog Cool
But keeping a dog cool doesn’t mean leaving them locked indoors all summer long—there are many things you can do to keep them from overheating. So read on to learn more about how you can keep your dog cool in the summer!
Never leave your dog in the car
Every year, many dogs are trapped in cars on hot days and succumb to heatstroke, which can kill them within minutes. While you might think it’s okay to leave your dog in the car for just a few minutes while you run into the store, the reality is that it is never safe to leave your dog in a car, even on a moderately warm day. A car’s temperature can rise to deadly levels in as little as 10 minutes, even when the outside temperature is relatively mild.
In general, you should never leave your dog in a car, even with the windows cracked. Several things can go wrong in that situation, including a car break-in, the presence of exhaust, or just the stress of being left alone. Plus, dogs can’t regulate their body temperature as well as humans, so their bodies can overheat much more quickly.
Keep your house cool
Keeping your house cool isn’t just a way to keep your dog comfortable and happy—it can also help him stay healthy. When temperatures are too high, the risk of heat-related illnesses, like bladder infections and liver damage, increases.
Keeping your house between 76 and 80 degrees is an excellent way to minimize those risks. If your home doesn’t have central air conditioning or you’re worried about keeping your house cool, try a house fan or other cooling device, like a misting fan.
Keeping your dog out of direct sunlight can also help. Dogs don’t have the ability to sweat like humans do, so they can’t regulate their own body temperature as easily. Being in the shade and away from windows can help keep your dog from overheating.
Additionally, keeping your dog’s water bowl full and fresh can help quench his thirst, which can help keep him from getting dehydrated in the summer heat.
Watch when you exercise
If you exercise with your dog, you may notice that he gets hotter faster than you do. In fact, he may be at risk for heatstroke even if the temperature isn’t that high. If your dog is panting heavily or seems fatigued during a workout, he may be overheated.
Dogs can’t regulate their body temperature as well as humans can, so extreme temperature changes can really affect them. Keep your dog’s health in mind when exercising in warm weather.
Check the pavement
Dogs don’t have the best judgment when walking on hot pavement, and they can do some serious damage to their paws. Be sure to keep your dog on the grass if possible and inspect his paws if he is running around on the pavement.
If you notice any redness or blisters, or if he is limping, take him to a vet as soon as possible—he could have a bacterial infection from his burns. Your dog can also get heat exhaustion from being outside on hot pavement for too long, just like he can from being in the sun.
If you notice your dog is panting heavily or his tongue is hanging out, he may be overheated.
Offer plenty of water and shade
If your dog is outside for extended periods of time, he needs plenty of water. Make sure the water is clean, fresh, and never warm. If your dog is outside during the day, he should have a shady place to retreat if he gets too warm. That way, he can recover from the heat without overheating.
Make some cool treats
If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can even make homemade treats to help keep your dog cool. You can make some tasty treats that will help your dog stay hydrated during the summer by adding water to peanut butter and oatmeal. You can also try freezing plain greek yogurt or watermelon for a nutritious, cooling summer treat.
Keep an eye on the humidity
Humidity can make hot weather even hotter, so it’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecast. A high-humidity day can be uncomfortable for humans and dogs and bring on heat-related illnesses more quickly. If you notice your dog is panting heavily when it’s humid outside, take steps to help him stay cool, including giving him water and moving him indoors if possible.
Take care of at-risk dogs
Certain dogs are more likely to suffer from heat-related illnesses. If your dog is older, has mobility issues, is overweight, has longer fur, or has a medical condition, he may be more likely to be negatively affected by the heat.
Keep these dogs inside on particularly hot days. You can even use air conditioners to keep them cool. If you let your dog out on hot days, keep an eye on him. If he seems uncomfortable, give him plenty of water and move him to a shadier area.
Groom your pet
Regular grooming can help keep your dog comfortable during the hot summer months. Brush your dog regularly, especially if he has long fur. This can help remove mats and keep his coat clean and healthy. If your dog gets particularly dirty or sweaty, you can even rinse his fur with cool water to help him cool down.
People also ask
How do I know if my dog is too hot?
There are a few signs that let you know your dog is too hot. If your dog is panting heavily, they are too warm. They also only have a few sweat pores on their paws and armpits.
If your dog is panting heavily, they cannot cool themselves off fast enough. If your dog is lethargic, has a rapid heart rate, hot body (you can feel it through their fur), drool coming from their mouth, or refuses water, they may be experiencing heat stress and should be taken inside immediately.
What is the fastest way to cool a dog down?
If your dog starts to show signs of heat exhaustion or is too hot, you can help them cool down by applying water to their paws and armpits. Run cold water over their paws and lightly mist their armpits with a spray bottle.
You should also put them in a cool, shady area. Remember, your dog’s body temperature can rise as much as 20 degrees higher than the outside temperature. However, if your dog shows signs of heat stroke, call your vet immediately. There isn’t much you can do to bring their temperature down on your own.
Do cooling bandanas work for dogs?
Bandanas are a great way to keep your dog cool, but can they actually lower your dog’s temperature? That’s debatable. Some people swear that their dog’s body temperature dropped a few degrees after putting a bandana on them.
Others say it didn’t make a difference at all. So it really depends on your dog and the effect you get from it. Make sure you use a bandana without any type of fabric that can get into your dog’s mouth.
Lastly, don’t leave the bandana on for more than 90 minutes at a time, even if it’s cooling your dog down, as it could cause overheating.
Keeping a dog cool during the summer is important for their health and happiness. However, it isn’t something that should be done as an occasional activity, it should be done every day.
By running a fan and keeping the A/C on in the summer months, you can help bring down the temperature in your home. Always ensure that there is plenty of fresh, cool water available for your pup as well. And remember, there are plenty of fun ways to keep your dog cool!