How To Keep Your Dog Cool As Temperatures Rise

Dog Health Resources December 1, 2023
How To Keep Your Dog Cool As Temperatures Rise
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How To Keep Your Dog Cool As Temperatures Rise

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How To Keep Your Dog Cool As Temperatures Rise

Nothing is worse than having to endure a sweltering summer day, especially if you are a dog. Not only is your pup suffering just as much as you, but he is basically wearing a fur coat.

So what is the best way to keep your furry friend cool as the temperatures rise?

Keep reading to get ideas on keeping your pup cool and comfortable on a hot day.

Dogs Can Naturally Cool Down

Unlike humans, dogs do not perspire through their skin. Although they do perspire through their paw pads, this is not their primary method of cooling off.
A dog regulates its body temperature through panting.

Moisture evaporates from your dog’s tongues, nasal passages, and the lining of their lungs when they pant. As this air circulates through their bodies, it helps cool them off.

Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool

1. Provide Lots of Shade for Your Dog

If you have a yard or outdoor space, you should utilize existing shade or make some of your own. Sometimes, depending on the heat, something as simple as a tree is great. However, not all yards have trees, and depending on how the sun shines, they may not offer shade where it is needed.
Shade can be easily created in yards and on patios with the help of portable sunshades, patio umbrellas, and pop-up canopies. Even some products now combine the cooling effect of a misting system with the shade provided by a pop-up canopy.

2. Water Fun and Doggie Pools

Make your dog a small pool. You can purchase a small plastic kiddie pool or spend money on a “dog pool,” such as this durable, foldable pool that is simple to set up and drain. Each morning, make sure to fill it with cool, fresh water and clean it thoroughly. The pool’s water will stay cooler all day if there is shade over it.
Make sure you choose the appropriate size pool for your dog because there are many different pool sizes available. If your dog likes to “dig” in the water, choose a sturdy material. Avoid inflatable pools because a dog’s nails could puncture the bottom or sides.

Never leave your dog alone in the pool, and don’t fill it up too high if your dog is a puppy, an older dog, or simply not very confident or steady on their paws in the water.
Add more water fun to your dog’s outdoor play by setting up an oscillating yard sprinkler and letting your dog run through and play in it.
Clean and dry the inside of your dog’s ears with a veterinary-approved ear cleaner at the end of the day after playing in the water to help avoid ear infections.

3. Avoid the Midday Heat

Depending on the temperature and humidity, you and your dog can exercise outside at any time of day. A midday walk or run may be possible on a mild, overcast day with low humidity.
If it’s sunny, 80 degrees, and humid, you should stay out of the midday heat as much as possible. If you do need to exercise on those days, try to go when it’s cooler, like first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

Don’t forget to check the pavement’s temperature before you leave. Even on cooler days, asphalt can become very warm when exposed to direct sunlight. You can check the pavement’s temperature by putting your hand on it or pouring water on it. If it starts to steam up right away, your dog cannot withstand the heat.
Small boots for your dog’s paws can be used, but some dogs may refuse to wear them. It may be best to walk your dog on trails. They are less likely to cause injury due to their shaded areas and dirt paths.

4. Offer and Ice Pack, Mat or Wet Towel

When it’s hot outside, think about giving your dog an ice pack, cooling mat, or wet towel to help lower their body temperature.

On a hot summer day, put an ice pack wrapped in a blanket in your dog’s bed or other resting place to help it cool off and unwind.

Cooling mats can be filled with ice packs that need to be frozen overnight, cold tap water, or cooling gel. They work best when laid on the ground for your dog to sit on.
Wet towels are most effective when they are covered in your dog or submerged in cool water. Even dogs with longer coats can use this technique!

5. Never Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car

The inside of a car can get extremely hot, even on cooler days. Always avoid parking in the sun and leaving your dog in the car.

When traveling with your dog or when you are in a parked car with your dog, keep the air conditioning on.

If your dog begins to exhibit symptoms of heat exhaustion, such as panting, salivating, discomfort, or confusion, he could be having a heat stroke.

6. Keep Your Dog in Doors

It will most likely be cooler in your house than outdoors on a hot day.

Why not bring your dog inside to avoid the heat? Even if your dog is an outside dog, consider letting him in the house to stay cool. He will be more than happy to come back to your yard once the weather cools.

If you have a messy dog who lacks indoor etiquette, you can always confine him to a bathroom or laundry area. Don’t forget to offer him a bowl of water while he is inside,, staying cool.

7. Give Lots of Cold Water

You should always have a lot of fresh, cold water on hand for your dog, whether you’re relaxing in your backyard or at the beach.

You can fill and then freeze a dog bowl or sturdy container with water before going on an adventure. You can then add more water to the frozen water. In the meantime, the ice at the bottom will gradually melt, keeping the water at the top nice and cool.

The most important thing is to make sure you have enough water around the house or with you when out on your journey.

Keep a supply of frozen dog treats, such as frozen Lickimats, Kong, or ice cubes, as well as small amounts of water on hand at all times. You can give these to your dog every 15 to 20 minutes on a hot day.

Signs of Heat Stroke

How To Keep Your Dog Cool As Temperatures Rise

Your dog may still experience heat stroke despite your best efforts. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Rapid and loud breathing
  • 103 or higher rectal temperature
  • Dark or bright red tongue and gums
  • Extreme thirst
  • Weakness and/or fatigue
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Dehydration ( skin doesn’t snap back around neck)
  • Thick saliva
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy drooling
  • Agitation

Get your dog to a cooler area or to your vet, as soon as possible, if you suspect he is overheating . Try taking your dog into a cool room and using your fingers to separate his fur in order for cool air to reach his skin.

Another option is to pour cool water over your dog’s head and body, hose a very gentle stream of cool water over him, or, if possible, immerse him in a tub of cool water to help him cool off as quickly as possible.

Even if your dog appears to be in good health, it is a good idea to take them to your veterinarian for a checkup and, if necessary, treatment.

Final Thoughts

It’s unpleasant to be uncomfortable on a hot day. And in extreme cases, it can even be dangerous for your dog. This is why being a responsible dog owner includes keeping your pup cool during the summer or on warmer days.

Your dog will appreciate your efforts to keep him cool when the temperature rises, whether you are supplying ice water or turning the air conditioner on high.

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Amy Towry is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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