How Do I Keep My Dog Cool In The Summer?
Summer is the perfect time to have fun with your furry friend, but it’s also a time to be mindful of their health and safety. Dogs cannot regulate their body temperature like humans, and they can quickly become overheated, dehydrated, and sick. In extreme cases, heatstroke can even be fatal for dogs. Here are some tips to keep your dog cool and safe during the hot summer months:
1. Hydration is Key
Keeping your dog hydrated is crucial during the summer. Water is critical to maintaining a normal body temperature, so ensure that your dog always has access to fresh and clean water. Refill water bowls frequently or use a pet fountain that encourages your dog to drink more. Additionally, add a few ice cubes to their water dish to keep the water cool.
2. Provide Shade
Dogs rely on shade to escape the sun’s heat, so make sure your dog has access to shady areas. You can provide natural shade by placing a large umbrella or canopy in the yard, or you can set up a doghouse with a shaded canopy or roof. When outside with your dog, keep an eye on them to make sure they are not stuck in direct sunlight for too long.
3. Limit Exercise
Dogs love to play and exercise, but it’s essential to limit their activity during the hottest parts of the day. Schedule walks and outdoor activities for early mornings or late evenings when the temperature is much cooler. Indoor games and puzzle toys can help stimulate your dog mentally without over-exerting them physically.
4. Don’t Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car
It’s never a good idea to leave your dog in a parked car, even with the windows cracked open. Cars can heat up in a matter of minutes, quickly becoming a death trap for dogs. In high temperatures, the car’s interior can reach 120 degrees, even with the windows slightly open. The best thing is to leave your dog at home when running errands.
5. Use Cooling Mats
Cooling mats are an efficient and affordable way to keep your dog cool during the summer. They work by absorbing and dissipating heat, providing a soothing coolness for your dog. These mats can be used inside or outside, and they come in different sizes to fit various dog breeds.
6. Keep a Kiddie Pool
Dogs love to swim, and a kiddie pool can provide a refreshing source of entertainment while keeping them cool. You can fill a plastic pool with water and let your dog splash around or put in some toys for added stimulation. However, never leave your dog unattended in or around water, and always supervise them during playtime.
7. Use Cooling Vests
Cooling vests and bandanas are specially designed to keep your dog cool by using evaporative technology. These vests are soaked in water, and the evaporation process causes a cooling effect, which helps regulate your dog’s body temperature. Cooling vests can be worn for outdoor activities, such as hiking or camping.
8. Groom Your Dog Regularly
Giving your dog a regular grooming session can help keep them cool and comfortable during the summer. Brushing your dog’s coat helps remove excess hair and also distribute natural oils that keep their skin cool and hydrated. If your dog has long hair, consider getting them a summer haircut, but never shave them down to the skin.
9. Protect Your Dog’s Paws
Pavements and asphalt can become scorching hot during the summer, which can burn your dog’s paw pads. Walk your dog on grassy areas or use dog shoes when walking them on hard surfaces. You can also use paw balms or creams to protect their pads from the heat.
10. Watch for Signs of Heatstroke
Heatstroke can be dangerous for dogs and is caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Symptoms of heatstroke include excessive panting, lethargy, vomiting, and dizziness. If you suspect your dog is experiencing heatstroke, move them to an air-conditioned area immediately and provide water to drink.
Keeping your dog cool during the summer requires a proactive approach. Providing plenty of water, shade, and limiting exercise during hot hours can help prevent overheating. Cooling mats, vests, kiddie pools, and regular grooming can also help manage your dog’s body temperature. Additionally, always be vigilant for signs that indicate potential heatstroke and take preventive measures. By following these tips, you can ensure your furry friend stays happy, safe, and healthy during the hot summer months.