Summer is a season of sun-kissed days, ice cream treats, and exciting outdoor adventures. However, as the temperature rises, so does the risk of heat-related illnesses for our furry companions. Just like us, dogs can suffer from heat stress and even heatstroke, which can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. As loving pet owners, it’s crucial to understand how to keep our dogs cool and comfortable during the hot weather.
Understanding Your Dog’s Heat Tolerance
Dogs, just like humans, have varying levels of heat tolerance based on their breed, age, and overall health. According to the Humane Society, brachycephalic breeds, like Bulldogs and Pugs, are particularly sensitive to heat due to their short noses, making them more prone to overheating.1 On the other hand, breeds with thick double coats, such as Huskies and Malamutes, may struggle to stay cool in high temperatures.
To ensure your dog’s well-being, pay close attention to signs of heat exhaustion, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and pale gums. If you notice these symptoms, act quickly and move your pup to a cooler environment. Always remember, if you’re feeling hot, your dog probably is too!
7 Effective Ways to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer
#1 Hydration is Key
Water, water, everywhere! Always provide your dog with access to fresh, cold water throughout the day. Carry a portable water bowl during walks and outdoor adventures, and make pit stops to keep your pup hydrated. You can also add ice cubes to their water bowl or invest in a doggie water fountain for a continuous flow of refreshing water.
#2 Create a Cool, Shady Spot
It’s essential to create a comfortable andshady spot for your furry friend to relax on a hot summer day. Set up a cool sanctuary with a canopy or umbrella in your backyard, or bring along a pop-up tent to the park. Trees or shrubs can also provide excellent natural shade during walks.
#3 Let Them Swim
Nothing beats the summer heat like a dip in the pool! If your dog loves water, consider investing in a kiddie pool for your backyard or visiting a dog-friendly beach. Swimming not only cools them down but also provides a fun and low-impact exercise for dogs of all ages and sizes.
#4 Cooling Accessories
Equip your dog with cooling accessories that will make them the coolest canine in town! Opt for a cooling vest use innovative technology to regulate body temperature or choose a cooling mat provide a chilly respite for indoor relaxation. Portable fans can also be handy during car rides or outdoor events.
#5 Frozen Treats
Who doesn’t love a frozen treat on a scorching day? Whip up some dog-friendly frozen delights using fruits like watermelon or frozen broth cubes. Not only are they delicious, but they also keep your pup hydrated and happy. Try BARK’s freezeable treat-dispensing toys to make it fun!
#6 Mind the Paws
When the sun is baking the pavement, it can become scorching hot and harmful to your dog’s paws. Before heading out for a walk, place your hand on the pavement to check if it’s comfortable enough for your furry friend. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws. Opt for early morning or late evening walks when the ground is cooler, or stick to grassy areas whenever possible.
#7 Exercise Smart
Exercise is essential for a dog’s physical and mental well-being, but during hot weather, it’s crucial to exercise smartly. Avoid strenuous activities during peak hours when the sun is blazing. Instead, opt for gentle walks, indoor play sessions, or mental stimulation games during the cooler parts of the day.
Dog-Friendly Summer Activities
Embrace the summer spirit by engaging in dog-friendly activities that will keep both you and your furry companion cool. Try visiting dog-friendly beaches or lakes for a swim, organizing a water sprinkler playtime in your yard, or having a fun-filled picnic under a shady tree.
Remember to adjust your activities based on your dog’s breed, age, and fitness level. Some breeds might prefer indoor play or short walks to avoid overheating.
Preventing Heat Stroke: Dos and Don’ts
To ensure your dog stays safe on a hot day, follow these dog owner dos and don’ts:
- Provide ample fresh water at all times
- Create a cool and shaded environment
- Offer cooling treats and accessories
- Choose appropriate exercise times
- Keep an eye on their paws during walks
- Leave your dog in a hot car, even for a short time
- Over-exercise them during peak heat hours
- Ignore signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Allow them to walk on hot pavement without protection
Fun in the Sun With BARK
With summer’s extreme heat, it’s important to prioritize your dog’s well-being. By following these tips, you can keep your furry friend cool, safe, and happy throughout the hot season. Remember, a little extra care and love go a long way in ensuring your dog’s comfort and happiness in the summer heat. So, embrace the season with open arms and enjoy the sunshine with your beloved pup by your side.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
#1 How can I keep my dog cool in the summer?
To keep your dog cool in the summer, provide plenty of fresh water, create shaded spots for relaxation, offer cooling treats and accessories, adjust exercise times to avoid peak heat hours, and protect their paws from hot pavement.
#2 Does wetting dogs’ paws cool them down?
Yes, wetting your dog’s paws with cool water can help them cool down as dogs release heat through their paw pads, and dampening them provides relief on hot days.
#3 How can I keep my dog cool in summer without AC?
If you don’t have air conditioning, you can still keep your dog cool by creating a shaded and breezy environment, using cooling accessories like vests and mats, offering frozen treats and access to water, adjusting exercise times to cooler parts of the day, and being mindful of hot pavement during walks.
#4 How do I cool my dog down ASAP?
If your dog is showing signs of heat stress, you should take immediate action to cool them down. Move them to a shaded area with good ventilation, offer cool water to drink, dampen their paws with cool water, use a wet towel or cooling mat on their body, and seek veterinary assistance if their condition doesn’t improve.
- “Keep Pets Safe in the Heat.” The Humane Society of the United States, 2023, https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/keep-pets-safe-heat. Accessed 31 July 2023.