Winter is now a distant memory, and you’ve most likely cranked up the air conditioning at least a few times already this summer. Perhaps you’ve traveled to the beach or relaxed poolside to beat the heat, but what have you done to help your dog cool down? Yeah, we know he pants to release body heat, but you’re not the only one who likes a cold treat on a hot day! We’ve got some suggestions as to how you can help keep your pet cool and comfortable even as the temperatures soar.
Safety Suggestions And Tips
- Avoid midday walks. The air temperature usually reaches its highest point during midday, as the sun is directly overhead. If the sun is beating down on your pup it can hinder his ability to cool down, as he releases heat through panting and perspiring through the pads on his paws. Just save your long walks for earlier in the morning or later in the evening to keep everybody comfortable.
- Have constant access to shade and water. Just as it’s important for you to stay hydrated, it’s important for your dog to stay hydrated as well. It’s important to provide cool water that is not too cold. Frozen water may send your pup into shock if it’s extremely hot outside, so be careful. Also, shade is important! You and your fur baby should be taking breaks from hanging out in direct sunlight.
- Run errands alone. You already knew this, but we’re going to drive the point home: do not leave your dog in a hot car, ever. Just leave them at home. Even a few minutes in a hot car is too many, and cracking the window is not enough. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with slightly-open windows can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. Just leave your pup at home.
- Knows the signs of heat stroke. On the hottest days dogs run the risk of developing heat stroke. Dogs with squished faces and pets with darker coats are more prone to the condition. Signs of heat stroke in dogs include weakness, collapse, respiratory distress, and elevated body temperature. If you think your dog is experiencing heat stroke, get him or her to the vet immediately.
- Protect the paws. Just as you wouldn’t walk onto blacktop barefoot on a very hot day, you should think before you have your pet do so. Don’t let your dog stand on hot surfaces for extended periods of time, and avoid them entirely if necessary.
- Be mindful of ticks and mosquitoes. Time spent outside is great, but you have to make sure your pet doesn’t pick up any ticks or get mosquito bites as both bugs can carry diseases. You should discuss preventative vaccinations and medications with your vet.
Cool Down Your Dog
- Kiddie Pool: No beach around? No problem. Fill up a plastic kiddie pool with water and let them splash around to cool down (you might even be able to sneak a bath in!)
- Treats: Feed your dogs treats that are cool, high in water content, or better yet—both! You can find dog ice cream in many grocery stores, or make your own. Frozen broth popsicles, or chilled cucumber or watermelon are also good options for your pet!
- Cool The Tummy: Allow your dog to plop down on a tiled surface in your house to cool down quickly. If you don’t have one, just soak a towel in cold water and let your pup lay on it—it’ll really help!
- Cooling collars and vests: If there’s no other way to beat the heat there are a number of cooling collars, vests, beds, and even boots available for dogs.
Enjoy the heat out there safely, and soak up the summertime—it’ll be fall before we know it!