Summertime is here! As we bid adieu to winters and get ready to embrace the heat, we also need to prepare our dogs for beating the effects of the glistening sun. How To Keep A Dog Cool In Hot Weather?
Unlike us, our canine best friends cannot put on some shades and sip an iced tea while soaking in the sun. Instead, they need to be kept cool, or else they may suffer from a heatstroke.
How To Keep A Dog Cool In Hot Weather?
To ensure that the season does not end in a tragedy, it is imperative for all dog owners to know ways to keep dogs cool. Having spent many summers with my doggo, I have compiled everything I have learned to others like me.
Tips to beat the heat: Keeping your dog cool
Right off the bat, let’s look at some of the ways to keep our best friends safe and cool during the summer.
Provide continual access to cold, fresh water
You must stay alert in keeping your doggo hydrated when he is under the sun. Whether he is running in your backyard or having a blast at the park, try to give him a small amount of water after every 20 minutes.
But don’t overdo it! The general water consumption guideline, as provided by Dr. Gary Weitzman, CEO of San Diego Humane Society, is that dogs need 1 ounce of water per 1 pound weight.
I find it useful to carry a portable bottle containing cold water whenever going out with my dog. Collapsible bottles are probably the best products for dogs in heat. You might benefit from them too. Try to carry enough water to last your entire adventure.
Also, if you ever see your dog starting to pant, not only hydrate him but also get him away from direct sunlight.
Encourage water play
Even though your canine friend probably loves long walks in the park, summer might not be the best time to do it. Don’t get me wrong! I am not saying your doggo shouldn’t enjoy the pleasant weather. Instead, what I mean is that you need to find outdoor activities that are safe for him.
And there might be no better time to play in the water than summers. Not only does it feel refreshing, but it can help in lowering your dog’s body temperature.
Outdoor activities with water play can include:
Always keep a towel handy for drying your best friend afterward so that he doesn’t catch a cold!
Plan your outside adventures according to the heat
Yes, your dog needs his vitamin D and exercise. But, it is equally important to choose the right time to step out. The midday heat is definitely not that time.
When I was new to the world of pets, I always wondered at what temperature should I bring my dog inside. And the answer is all temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit are not safe for our friends. And temperature tends to usually soar at midday.
Also, when you are stepping out, do check how hot the pavement is. At times, the wind might make it seem that the sun isn’t as harsh, but the asphalt pavements tell another story!
Don’t leave your dog in a parked car
Sitting in parked cars is inadvisable for children. So, imagine the effect it can have on animals who are already sensitive to heat!
The temperatures inside a car can soar very easily, despite cracked windows. CDC reports that under direct sunlight, car temperatures can reach a dangerous range of 131 – 172 degrees Fahrenheit even if the actual temperature is 100 degrees.
So, never leave your doggo inside your car. And when driving with it, make sure the AC is working.
Shutdown the doghouse for the summers
Dog houses may look adorable, but they aren’t a sanctuary for our pets during the scorching heat. This is because they don’t have a proper ventilation system.
If your dog loves staying at his outdoor abode, keep the trips short. Also, provide them with plentiful iced water in case they start feeling hot.
Know when it’s too hot to handle: Signs of a heatstroke
Even if you know how to keep dogs cool in summer, sometimes we underestimate the heat. And this can have dangerous consequences.
As a dog owner, I am sure your ultimate nightmare is watching your dog suffer from a heatstroke. But, if you are able to identify the signs right away, you can take preventive measures quickly.
Common symptoms to look out for include:
- Heavy panting or breathing faster than usual.
- A rapid pulse that can be checked by placing a hand on your dog’s chest. The standard pulse rate varies according to the size and breed of the dog.
- Lack of urine signifies potential dehydration.
- Excessive salivation or sticky salivation.
- Lack of coordination and inability to move in a straight line shows that dog might be feeling dizzy.
- Vomiting or diarrhea, especially the occurrence of blood in the stool.
- Loss of consciousness owing to dehydration.
In case you observe any of these signs, immediately bring your doggo to a shaded area, pour cold water on it until its breathing returns to normal, give it some water to drink, and then take him to a nearby vet.
Preventing dehydration to avoid heat strokes
Heat strokes begin with heat exhaustion, which in turn, stems from dehydration. Here are three ways you can keep your dog hydrated when the sun is out.
Circulate cool air in your dog’s indoor space
Merely keeping your canine buddy inside is not enough. The cool air must keep circulating for proper ventilation. To do so, you might want to rely on the air conditioning or a fan.
Conservatories and greenhouses are a no-go
Greenhouses and conservatories are designed to trap heat inside the space. Hence, at any given time, they are hotter than the outside temperature. You can only imagine how warm they can get during heat waves! So, keep your doggo (and even yourself) away from such areas during summers.
Does your furry friend have a white nose and ears? If so, they are more vulnerable to sunburn than other dogs. Sunburns can manifest as painful blisters. Long-term consistent exposure can also cause skin cancer! So, purchase pet sunscreen and lather it on your dog’s ears and nose whenever stepping out.
Make your house and car safe for your doggo!
Apart from the outdoors, it is important to make the home as well as cars comfortable and safe for dogs during summers.
Here is how you can keep them cool:
During car rides
- Keep the air conditioner on.
- If your doggo sits in the backseat, buy a cooling pad.
- Don’t drive during peak heat hours.
- Use sunshades to minimize the effect of the sunrays.
Inside the house
- Drop a few ice cubes in your buddy’s water bowl.
- Offer cold treats like doggy popsicles (frozen water and meat).
- Make their indoor abode on the tiled area of your house instead of the carpeted space.
- Install a pet crate fan or air vent.
Welcome the sun! How To Keep A Dog Cool In Hot Weather?
I once got scared for my dog every time summers were around the corner. But, I learned that with the right precautions and enough awareness, summers don’t necessarily have to be harmful to your canine buddy.
You just have to be on your toes all the time to ensure that your little friend doesn’t get hot. I am sure you will take good care of your best friend! Best of luck.