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10 Tips On How to Keep Dogs Cool in the Summer

how to keep dogs cool in summer

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As the weather heats up in the summer months, everyone is looking for ways to stay cool and comfortable—and that includes our furry friends! If you’re wondering how to keep dogs cool in the summer, let these 10 essential tips from experts be your guide.  From providing ample shade and hydration to understanding the signs of heat exhaustion, these strategies are designed to prioritize your dog’s well-being. These tips are great to keep in mind for any occasion, whether you’re on your summer travels, playing backyard games at home, or just taking your pup for a stroll.

For example, you might find that simple adjustments like scheduling walks during cooler times of the day and avoiding hot pavement can make a significant difference in your pup’s comfort level. But we’ll also take a look at some products that help keep dogs cool in the summer, like cooling mats, doggy paddle pools, and more. With these expert tips, you’ll be well equipped to navigate the summer heat with confidence, ensuring that your pup stays cool, hydrated, and healthy all season long. Don’t forget to grab your doggie water bottles!

1. Never Leave Dogs In Cars

Leaving your dog in a parked car, even briefly with the air conditioner on, can be deadly. This is because, according to The Humane Society, temperatures inside a car can soar rapidly in just a matter of minutes. The extreme heat can lead to severe consequences for your pup, like organ damage, brain failure, and even death. These rules don’t just apply to your pet: If you see a dog left in a hot car, The Humane Society recommends taking immediate action or contacting the local authorities.

2. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Keeping dogs hydrated on hot days is crucial to preventing dehydration and heatstroke, which can be life-threatening for them. Regular access to fresh, cool water helps dogs stay hydrated and maintain their overall health during hot weather. So even if you’re just going out for a short walk, always bring a portable dog water bottle or bowl. You can also add ice to your dog’s water to help regulate their body temperature more effectively, especially during heat waves. 

3. Provide Shade Outside

Providing shade for your dog outdoors is essential to protecting them from overheating and sunburn. Options like trees, umbrellas, tarps, or shade sails offer excellent protection for shielding your dog from direct sunlight. These options also allow for better air circulation, creating a cooler and more comfortable environment for your furry friend. 

4. Know How to Spot Heatstroke

Extreme temperatures can trigger heatstroke, so be sure to watch out for symptoms like heavy panting, glazed eyes, and rapid heartbeat. Certain pups, especially those that are very old, young, overweight, or have health conditions, are particularly vulnerable. To treat heatstroke, move your pet to shade, apply cold packs, offer small amounts of cool water, and seek veterinary help promptly.

5. Keep Your Dog Indoors During Peak Heat Hours

Keeping your dog indoors during peak heat hours (typically in the mid-afternoon) protects them from the most intense sunlight and heat, and reduces the risk of heatstroke and discomfort. During the hottest part of the day, it’s best to stick to indoor environments that offer controlled temperatures. This practice also helps prevent paw burns on hot surfaces like asphalt, and minimizes the risk of dehydration and exhaustion from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

6. Limit Exercise On Hot Days

Chewy notes that it’s best to take your dog on short, early morning or evening walks on hot days to prevent heat-related issues. This advice is particularly important for pets with white ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and pets with short noses, who may have breathing difficulties. Protect your pet’s paws from hot asphalt by walking on grass and ensure they stay hydrated by always carrying water during outings.

7. Cool Down Your Dog With Damp Towels

Cooling your dog down with damp towels on hot days will help regulate their body temperature and prevent overheating or heatstroke. Leave the towel on for short periods of time, allowing the moisture to evaporate and provide a cooling effect on your dog’s skin. Be sure to remove the towel once it has dried.

8. Buy a Doggie Paddling Pool

Does your furry friend love the water? If so, consider investing in a paddling pool for a safe and fun way for your dog to cool down on hot days. There are even some pools designed with pups in mind! Just be sure to avoid using icy or freezing water as drastic temperature changes can cause dogs to go into shock. 

9. Don’t Rely On a Fan

Using a fan to cool down dogs is not recommended because unlike humans, dogs primarily regulate their body temperature through panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose. While a fan may provide some relief, it’s not as effective for dogs and may even cause discomfort due to the noise and blowing air. To keep your dog cool and conserve energy, switch off fans, lights, and electronics when not needed.

10. Try a Dog Cooling Mat

Keep your dog comfortable in hot weather by providing dog cooling mats that use water to cool without electricity. This will help prevent burns from hot surfaces and offer your pup a comfortable retreat from the sun’s heat.

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