How To Keep Your Dog Cool In The Summer
A Dog Suffering From Heat Stroke Is A Medical Emergency
Dogs do not sweat, apart from a small amount through their paw pads, and so are far more prone to overheating than humans. They cool down by panting, which exchanges warm air from within the body with outside cooler air. However, as you can imagine, when the temperature outside increases cooling down by panting becomes a lot less efficient.
Breeds with flat faces, such as bulldogs and pugs, and breeds with very thick coats find it even harder to cool down and they can suffer from heat strokes even on mild days. Puppies, elderly dogs, obese dogs, dogs with darker coats and dog with respiratory diseases are also more susceptible to over-heating.
Heat Stroke Symptoms
Please memorize these so you know what signs indicate that your pet has over-heated.
– Heavy Panting
– Difficulty Breathing
– Tongue & Mucus Membranes Are Bright Red
– Excessive & Thick Saliva
– Eyes Glazed Over
– Rapid & Weak Pulse
– Dog May Vomit
– Rectal Temperature Between 104 – 110°F (40° – 43.3°C)
– Loss Of Balance, Wobbly
– Pinched Skin Does Not Return To Normal Quickly (Dehydrated)
– Bloody Diarrhea
– Shock (Lips & Mucous Membranes Turn Gray)
Heat Stroke Treatment
You must act quickly. Immediately move your dog somewhere cooler, preferably into an air-conditioned room. Monitor their temperature using a pet thermometer. The average temperature of a healthy dog is 101°F. Mild cases may be resolved by cooling your dog yourself, but I would recommend that you always take them to a veterinarian, or at least call one for advice. You can submerge them in cool (not ice cold) water for up to two minutes, or spray them with water from the garden hose.
While you are in the car, on the way to the vets, you can keep spraying them with water from a bottle; apply cold compresses to their groin area and their head; and wipe their paws with a cool, wet cloth. Keep monitoring their temperature and if it drops below 103°F you can discontinue the cooling process. You don’t want to cool them down so much that you cause them to have hypothermia or send them into shock.
Severe dehydration causes the blood to thicken and can cause blood clotting. Vital organs, such as the heart, kidneys, and brain, can all be severely affected. Your vet may want to carry out a complete assessment of your pet, including blood and urine analysis, they may want to monitor their blood pressure and they may also want to administer fluids.
1. Avoid Exercising In Hot, Humid Weather
Avoid strenuous exercise during the day when the sun is at its hottest. Go on walks when it’s early in the morning or late in the evening, and the temperature is cooler. Walking on sidewalks during the midday heat can also burn your dog’s paws. If you want to protect your dog’s paws from the heat try Musher’s Secret Invisible Dog Boots.
2. Do Not Leave Your Dog In The Car
A dog left in a car can easily suffer from heat stroke, even on mild days or with the window wound down. Owners leaving their dogs in cars is the most common cause of heat stroke. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly heat up to lethal levels within a matter if minutes due to the greenhouse effect.
3. A Dog Pool In Your Garden
Buy your dog a bone shaped pool for the garden so that they can have a dip and cool off when they get too hot. I also put floating dog toys in my dog’s pool, which keeps him entertained.
4. Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Make sure that your dog always has access to clean, fresh and cool water. Always keep their water bowls in the shade. Also, take water with you when you go on walks and stop for some re-hydration breaks.
5. Set Up A Fan
A fan will help keep your dog cool and you can set one up both indoors and outdoors. You can put a bucket of cold ice in front of the fan so that the air is even cooler, or buy a fan mister.
7. A Wet Towel To Lay On
A dog laying on a wet towel placed in the shade will quickly cool down.
8. Sprinklers In The Garden
Set up sprinklers in the garden for your dog to play in.
9. Access To Shade
Dogs should always have access to shade. You can even buy them a well-ventilated shade shelter for the garden. Outward Hound make an excellent shade shelter for dogs that is portable, easy to set up and well ventilated.
10. A Cooling Dog Bed
Treat your dog to a cool and comfy water bed that will extract heat from their tummies. I recommend the award-winning and best-selling K&H Cool Bed III.
11. Make Frozen Treats
Make your beloved friend some frozen treats. The Chillin’ Bonz leak-proof tray has been specially designed for frozen dog treats and comes with its own yummy recipe book.
12. Dig A Cooling Pit
Many dogs love to dig cooling pits. They remove the warmer top layer of substrate, which provides them with a cool little pit to rest in. If you have somewhere in your garden that you don’t mind your dog digging them encourage them to make their own cooling pit.
13. Take Good Care Of Their Coat
Many dog owners disagree about whether their dogs should have haircuts in the summer. Shaving your dog in the summer can actually increase their risk of getting sunburnt, but some owners believe their dogs are happier in the heat after a haircut. The best thing to do is regularly brush them and keep their coats mat-free. This will allow air to circulate freely through their coat and keep them cool.
Your Opinion & Experiences Matter
Do You Think Dogs Should Be Shaved/Clipped In The Summer?
14. Cooling Water Bowl
This is one cool product! FroBo bowls keep water cool for 8 hours or longer. The core comes out and you place it in the freezer until it turns whitish. You then replace the core back in the base and add the water. I bought an extra core so that I can always have one in the freezer and therefore a constant supply of cool water over the summer.
15. Cooling Dog Bandana
These bandanas are simple yet effective. You soak them in water for 5 minutes then attach them, quite fashionably, around your dog’s neck. The polymer they contain stays damp and extracts the heat out of the blood vessels in your dog’s neck, helping them to stay cool.