11 Essential Tips: How To Keep Your Dog Cool in Summer
If your wondering how to keep your dog cool in summer when it's hot outside, how to help keep your dog comfortable and prevent heatstroke then I've got 11 tips for you coming up. Keep reading right to the end as after I've run through the ways to keep your dog cool, I'll let you know an essential summer dog care tip you might never have thought of!
How To Keep A Dog Cool in Summer
Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water at ALL times
Use a fan
Have a cooling collar, wrap or mat
Give frozen treats
Wear booties for hot ground
Have a sprinkler or paddling pool
Make sure there's shade
Weight loss if fat
Groom thick and long haired dogs
Early morning/late evening walks only
Never leave your dog in a parked car
It sounds simple and it's definitely not rocket science. Don't underestimate though how important keeping a dog cool is. You can read all about the risk of heatstroke in my article telling you how to cool a dog down quickly...something that might just save your dogs life if they do start to overheat.
Water at home and on the trail
My first tip is to make sure that your dog has access to plenty of water. Both at home and in the garden this can simply mean you've got plenty of water bowls dotted around the place. Making sure that they're regularly refreshed, and even adding ice can help keep that water cool and encourage your dog to to drink more water.
Now if you're outside then making sure that you carry a water bottle, not just for yourself, but for your dog too is very important. We can help our dog drink this water in a couple of different ways. The first is that we can carry a folding bowl (check them out on amazon). Then you can just pop it out and pour the water in to allow your dog to have a drink. You can also get water bottles specifically for your dog (like these ones). These have got a fold-out drinking bowl attached so that you'll never forget it and leave it behind.
A fan is really cooling
Tip number two is to use a fan. When it's hot we use a fan. It helps us lose heat better and your dog is exactly the same. If you're at home then a normal household fan directed over your dog's bed or covering the area that they like to sit will make a big difference.
You can also get special crate fans. These attach to the side of your dogs crate, onto the bars. They will blow the air through the crate and over your dog. These are especially useful if you're traveling in the car, or even just at home if their crate is the place that they like to spend some time.
Use cooling wraps and packs
OK, tip number three to keep your dog cool in hot weather is actually use cooling ice packs, cooling towels or cooling mats. With cooling towels and mats you just add some water, shake them out and once the water starts evaporating and it cools those down. There can actually be quite a big difference between the temperature of the towel and the outside air temperature.
You can get other cooling aids and one of these is an ice pack or a cool pack that goes around your dogs neck. You pop them in the fridge and then, when you need to cool your dog down, you simply put it around their neck.
You can also get cooling vests that you put on very much like cooling towels but they won't slip off. If your dog is out and about then you just wet these jackets, the water evaporates. This can really help when you're out and about to keep a dog cool.
Give frozen treats
Okay so tip number four to keep your dog cool is to use cooling treats. We like ice creams or ice blocks and our dogs are no different. If we make these iced treats in advance we can pop them in the freezer ready for the hot weather.
You can learn how to make 2 different dog ice blocks in this ourpetshealth.com article.
Booties protect your dogs paws
At five, this tip also helps prevent injury in hot weather. Getting your dog to wear boots is especially important if you live in the town or city and you walk your dog on concrete. It's amazing how quickly the pavement can heat up. I've written an article on just how else you can protect your dogs paws in the summer heat.
Booties on their feet can make a really big difference. It provides a layer of insulation that will stop them conducting heat from the ground into their body and it will also stop their paws getting burnt.
Soak in the pool or with a sprinkler
Having a sprinkler or paddling pool of some description in the garden will allow your dog to get wet and cool them off. Once wet, the water will then evaporate taking body heat with it. Dogs can't sweat and so can't lose heat in the same way that we can.
As long as there's no water restrictions, having the sprinkler running on low or having a paddling pool that you allow and encourage your dog to use can make a really big difference. If you use one of the hard plastic shell pools then there is also no risk of puncture. Your dog will love it too!
Plenty of shade
Tip number seven is to have shaded areas. If your dog is outside and not in the house then just make sure that they've got somewhere shady and cool for them to retreat to. There's nothing worse than seeing dogs in gardens where there's absolutely no shade.
It's such a simple solution to protect your dog from the sun. Don't underestimate the importance of shade.
Number eight might not be quite so obvious. Weight loss. A lot of our pet dogs are overweight and dog obesity dangers is something I've written on extensively). Apart from all of the other health benefits of weight loss, losing weight can make a huge difference in how likely they are to overheat rather than stay cool.
Clip and groom
The number nine tip to keep your dog cool is to groom your dog. This is especially important if they've got a long or thick coat. Clipping them out in the summer can make a big difference to their temperature.
Just imagine wearing a big heavy coat in the heat of summer. For thick coated dog breeds this is exactly what it might be like. Clipping your dog out is a great way to remove their "jacket".
Stick to the cool of the day
Exercising or walking your dog only in the cool of the day is vital to protect your dog from the worst of the heat when the temperatures really start to climb. The best time is generally first thing in the morning before the sun is out at it's full strength, and before the temperature has started to really warm up. Late evening is another option.
Limiting their exercise in the middle of the day is also important. Even if you think that your dog wants to run, if they want to chase a ball, resist the urge to humor them. Keeping them calm and quiet will help to prevent heatstroke and keep them as cool as possible.
Never leave your dog alone in the car
My final tip is really quite obvious. Never leave your dog in a parked car. There's very little that's better at killing a dog through heatstroke than leaving them in a parked car in warm weather. It doesn't even need to be that hot outside.
If you've got any doubts about how dangerous this can be then just take a look at what I put myself through to prove the point that dogs die in hot cars. I'd also encourage you to share that article with your friends and family. Every year dogs do die in hot cars and it's so avoidable. a share may very well save a life.
Dogs can get sunburn too!
As promised I've got a bonus suncare tip for you and that is to actually consider using sunscreen for your dog. It's something that we often don't think about, but our dogs noses and ear tips especially can be really susceptible to sunburn. This sun damage can definitely lead to some cancers which can be very aggressive and very difficult to treat, especially if not addressed straight away.
I would recommend using a pet specific sunscreen as other sun creams can have harmful or irritating ingredients. A dog sunscreen can minimize the risk of irritation while helping to prevent sunburn and skin cancer.
Implementing just some of these tips to help keep a dog cool in the summer can go a huge way to preventing heatstroke. Let me know which tip you find most useful and please share anything else you do for your dog to keep them cool in the comments below.
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