Keeping a Dog Cool in Hot Weather

Summertime is a great time for dogs, they go outside more often, and get to play for hours while enjoying the fine weather.

However, with all the global warming thing going on, some days can get pretty hot and humid, which makes getting rid of the heat more difficult for your dog.

The thing is:

Dogs don’t cool off by sweating, but by panting, and that’s not really efficient on extremely hot summer days.

We as owners have a responsibility for our dog, and there are simple things we can do in order to keep out pup safe during the hot season.

In this post, I’ll share 12 important tips for keeping a dog cool in hot weather.

Including, how to know when your dog is starting to overheat, and what you should do in the case that happens.

Keeping A Dog Cool In Hot Weather In 12 Ways

1. Know The Signs Of Overheating

First, you need to recognize when your dog is in distress and while dogs can’t tell us how they feel, they can certainly show us.

Some of the early Symptoms for heat stroke in dogs include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Fast breathing
  • Excess drooling and saliva
  • Dark red tongue and gums
  • General weakness

Once you notice any of the following signs, you need to cool down your dog and contact your vet immediately.

Watch this video to learn how to cool a dog down quickly:

2. Keep Your Home Temp Low

In the summer, the best thing you can do for you, and your dog is to turn on the air conditioning (a fan is also fine), but make sure to close all the blinds to keep the heat out.

This tip is even more important when you leave your dog alone in a hot house since you won’t be around to stop him from overheating. Normally, 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit is a good room temperature for most dogs.

How To Keep A Dog Cool In A Kennel

If your dog is kept outside, you need to make a few adjustments to his dog house to make sure it’s not sizzling hot inside.

  1. Move the kennel away from the sun and into a shaded area. If your dog is sleeping in a dog pen, you should also use a shade cover to block the sun rays.
  2. Lift the dog house about 30cm above the ground using brick pavers to allow air circulation and disperse the heat.
  3. Consider getting a self-cooling mat, as well as a crate fan or a fan bracket to install your own cooling fan onto the kennel.
  4. Replace your dog plastic crate with an insulated plastic crate or a wood kennel.

However, if it’s extremely hot outside, let your dog come inside where it’s nice and cooler.

3. Provide A Shady Place Outside

Some dogs live outside the house, but even if you have an indoor dog that prefers to spend a lot of time outdoors, they must have some shade to retreat to.

So whether it’s the dog’s crate, a pen with a cover or a shade tree, make Fido a dark and cool place where he can lay down and unwind without being exposed to direct sunlight.

4. Walk Your Dog In Cooler Hours

Avoid walking your dog in the hottest hours of the day. Instead, take Fido out early in the morning, when it’s usually cooler. Or go for an evening walk, after the sun had set.

walk dog

Besides avoiding a heatstroke, your dog won’t have to deal with hot pavement that can hurt his paws. Summer days like this are also a good time to think about using pee pads.

5. Have Fresh Water Available

Whether Fido is inside the house or playing in the backyard, always offer plenty of fresh water to keep him cool and hydrated. I’d even suggest setting multiple water stations around your property to get your dog to drink more water.

Be sure to check the water bowls from time to time and refill them whenever needed. Also, take a dog water bottle with you on walks, and to the park.

6. Add Ice Cubes To Your Dog’s Water

Ice is an excellent way to keep the water cool, simply drop a few into your dog’s bowl. Some dogs like to lick or chew the ice cubes, which is a great way for them to cool down.

And don’t worry, ice cubes doesn’t cause bloating in dogs. But keep an eye on your dog while he plays with the ice in case he decides to swallow large pieces.

7. Make Homemade Frozen Treats

Take advantage of the fact that your dog loves to eat and give him a water-rich treat, or at least a cold one. You can be creative with this step, just be careful not to feed your dog something he shouldn’t eat.

Need a few ideas?

8. Get A Dog Pool

If your dog loves water, nothing beats a pool on a warm day. However, you need to have a product that’s made specifically for dogs and won’t tear or leak while Fido jump in and out of the water.

Check out FrontPet Foldable Dog Pool. This tub is sturdy, portable and easy to set up since no inflation required (some people even use it to bathe their dog outside).

Learn more

That being said, pools aren’t a good fit for dogs who are afraid of water.

9. Brush Your Dog Regularly

Brushing your dog in the heat of summer can help tremendously, especially if he has a heavy coat. When you groom your dog, you help him get rid of loose hair and knots that suffocate the skin and prevent ventilation.

During the summer, daily grooming is necessary to keep Fido cool. Therefore, take a few minutes each day to brush your dog, and don’t let excess fur and tangles accumulate.

10. Don’t Shave Your Dog

Not only your dog’s coat helps to trap cool air, but shaving Fido during the summer can actually expose him to sunburns and other sun damage. Unless your dog hair is matted, there’s no good reason to shave him.

On the other hand, dogs that don’t shed such as Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Yorkshire should get a shorter summer cut to prevent knots. And try to use a pet sunscreen on exposed areas such as your dog’s nose and ears.

11. Try Dog Cooling Products

I already talked about how a self-cooling mat prevents your dog from overheating in his kennel, but there are many cooling products for dogs besides that.

I’m talking about cooling collars, cooling jackets, and even cooling bandanas. These products can really come in handy when it starts to warm up.

Also, while not a cooling product per se, dog booties are a great way to protect your dog paws from the hot ground.

12. Don’t Leave Your Dog In The Car

Dogs should never be left in a car alone, even when it’s not really that hot outside. An 80 degrees temperature can easily go up to 99 degrees inside a vehicle within 10 minutes. So keep your pup safe.

If you see a dog in a hot car, try to find the owners or call the authorities, but don’t leave the place just yet. In case the dog shows signs of heatstroke, you should consider taking action and get the dog out yourself.

Then, take the pup someplace cooler, give him water, and wait until the owners or the police arrive.

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