How to Cool Down a Dog in the Summer
To keep your dog cool in hot weather, you need to be prepared and think ahead. In addition to having fun when the weather gets nicer, you should also remember to protect your dog in the heat. The goal is to reduce the risk of heat stroke and ensure your dog stays healthy and happy. By following a few simple tricks, you can make your dog withstand even the hottest days of the season.
The following oneHOWTO article explains 10 ways to cool down your dog in the summer, so you can enjoy the sun while keeping your dog safe.
Protect your dog's paws
Unlike humans, dogs sweat only through their paws. Therefore, it is very important that the dog has a cool, sun-protected place to rest, especially during the hottest part of the day. This is true whether the dog lives indoors or outdoors. When your dog lies down on a cold surface, it releases its body heat to the ground, regulating its body temperature. This is also why many dogs dig holes on hot days. They are trying to reach the cold ground underneath, so they can lie down there.
A large tree may not be available in your garden, but even a small patio has room for a canopy. If you live in an apartment, you can put a parasol on the balcony.
Dark floors exposed to the sun should also be covered with a light blanket or an old towel. If the temperatures are too high, you can moisten the towel or the blanket. Surfaces that heat up in the sun, such as asphalt or sand, can be painful for your dog's paws. When in doubt, check for yourself. If the surface is too hot for you, your dog will probably feel the same way. If you are going for a walk, remain in grassy or shaded areas instead.
As mentioned earlier, dogs can suffer heat stroke when temperatures rise. Read this other article to learn how to recognize the symptoms of heatstroke in dogs.
Keep your dog well hydrated
Water is important for your dog all year round, especially on hot days. When your dog is panting, more air is pressed against the mucous membranes. This causes the liquid to evaporate and the dog to cool down. However, the more the dog pants, the more fluid they lose.
Therefore, when it's hot, it's more critical than ever that your dog drinks enough water. You can encourage your dog to drink by placing several dog water troughs around your home or by directly giving them water or pointing to it. When it comes to cooling down your hot dog, cold water works best. Cold water has the immediate effect of cooling your dog from the inside out. Also, your dog is more likely to drink water that has a cold temperature.
Additionally, make sure you always have enough water for your dog when you leave the house. A quart of bottled water is easy to freeze and keep cool in an insulated bag.
Read this article about how much water a dog should drink per day to learn more about dogs and their water intake.
Provide your dog with ventilated areas
When the weather is hot, the airflow from a fan will make your dog much more comfortable. Cooling systems like fans or air conditioners are a great help. The best fans for your dog are either short or can be pointed downward toward your dog, as larger standing fans will blow over your dog and not provide the same cooling effect. Do not leave your dog confined in a glassed in or unventilated room as the temperature can rise very quickly.
Also, do not leave your dog in the car. Cars quickly become dangerous heat chambers, even at moderate temperatures. Open windows no longer provide sufficient heat exchange above a certain temperature. Also, being left alone in the car, dogs can become distressed and uncomfortable and very quickly develop heat stroke.
You should avoid riding in the car with your dog on hot days. If you must drive anyway, you should put sunscreen covers on the windows to keep your dog out of direct sunlight while you drive, and do not forget to bring enough water.
Give your dog homemade popsicles
When the warm weather arrives, ice creams and popsicles are one of the best ways to cool off in the summer heat. Dogs love popsicles for the same reasons we do, they are a refreshing treat on a hot day. Unfortunately, popsicles for humans are not suitable for dogs. They are very sugary and often contain preservatives that can be toxic to our dogs.
If you want a safe and healthy popsicle for your dog, you need to make it yourself. The good news is that making popsicles for dogs is quick and easy. All you need is a silicone ice cube mold (cookie molds work too), a blender, and some fruit. Put the ingredients in the blender and blend on high until nice and smooth. Then fill the mixture into the ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Put them in your sticks and freeze them overnight.
Go for a swim
There are few things more effective than going for a swim on a hot summer day. A quick dip in the cold water will instantly give your dog a feeling of refreshment. However, keep in mind that it can be tempting to encourage your dog to swim, especially when the weather is warmer. Remember that some places can be unsafe and have strong currents that can be dangerous, or algae and bacteria that could make your dog sick. Do not forget to practice water safety and equip your dog with a life jacket if you need to!
Do not own a pool and are not lucky enough to live near a lake or beach? A hose can be just as effective.
Turn on your garden hose and hose down your dog. Some dogs are more open to this than others. However, you will soon know if your dog enjoys being hosed down because if not, they will run for cover.
Apply water to your dog's body
Even if you do not have a pool or hose, you can still get the cooling effect for your dog with a spray bottle.
The advantage of a spray bottle is accuracy. You can spray specific areas of your dog without making a mess. And if you use the spray option, you'll have almost no water to clean up. For maximum refreshment, target the paws and underbelly where there is less hair.
A damp towel is also a good solution to cool down a hot dog. Soak the towel in cool water until it is soaked. Then, squeeze out the excess water, so the wet towel does not drip onto your dog and the floor.
Now place the wet towel on your dog. Especially on the lower abdomen, the inner thighs or the neck. These places will cool your dog down the fastest.
Regularly brush the dog
Regular grooming keeps your dog's coat clean, free of tangles and can even help them to stay cool. Talk to a professional groomer, as they will know what is best for your dog and their particular coat. As a general rule, however, regular brushing is more than enough to keep your dog cool, as it prevents excess dead hair from accumulating.
You should also use a detangling brush to get rid of pesky tangles and help your dog feel clean and refreshed.
If you want to better understand your dog's shedding, read this other article about why does my dog shed so much?
Summer haircut from a professional
When summer comes, you may be tempted to give your long-haired dog a "summer cut" because if you trim his long hair, it may be more manageable. In any case, it is best to leave the dog's trimming to a professional and avoid shaving the hair down to the skin or cutting it yourself with scissors.
If you do not want to cut your pet's hair, that's not a problem. Dogs with thick coats naturally shed, so they will have a lighter coat in the summer. Also, keep in mind that a dog's coat actually protects it from heat and harmful UV rays.
Avoid physical activities during the hottest hours
Avoid walking your dog in hot weather, as dogs do not handle the heat as well as humans. Even on a warm day, dogs can overheat, especially if they are exercising. Consider whether it might be safer for your dog to go for a walk very early or late in the evening when the temperature has dropped significantly, or to engage in stimulating activities at home. Pay attention to the weather when planning a walk, and take regular breaks in the shade.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Cool Down a Dog in the Summer, we recommend you visit our Pets category.