As the weather starts to warm up, dog-owners will find themselves wondering how they can best protect their pups from the heat.
In this article, we’ll be outlining some of the best ways to keep your pup cool in high temperature and avoid heat-exhaustion.
How to Keep a Dog Cool: 8 Top Tips
Keeping your dog cool in the heat is essential for their well-being and overall health. Dogs are more prone to heat-related issues, such as heatstroke, compared to humans, as they struggle to regulate their body temperature effectively. In this article, we will explore effective ways to ensure your pup stays cool and comfortable during hot weather.
1. Provide shade and water
One of the fundamental steps in preventing overheating in dogs is to provide them with ample shade and fresh water. We recommend creating a shaded area in your garden where your dog can relax comfortably. You can do this by using trees, canopies, or even creating a dog-specific shade structure.
Another great way to provide a cooler surface for your dog to lie on, are raised dog beds, these allow air circulation to stop over-heating. But, most importantly, always make sure there is clean and cool water available for your dog to drink.
2. Avoid hot surfaces
During hot weather, pavements and other surfaces can become scorching hot and potentially burn your dog's paws. To prevent this, try to walk your dog during the cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening when the temperature is lower. If walking during the day is unavoidable, protect your dog's paws with booties or apply paw wax to provide a protective layer. If you're unsure, you can test the temperature with your hands or feet. If it feels hot to you, it will be too hot for your pup.
There are several cooling accessories available on the market that can help keep your dog cool. Wet towels can be draped over your dog's body or use a cooling coat to provide instant relief from the heat. Frozen treats and toys are also good options to keep your dog entertained while offering a refreshing experience. You can even try making homemade dog-friendly ice cream using ingredients like yoghurt, fruits, and peanut butter... there are plenty of ways to keep them cool and include them in the summer fun.
For extra peace of mind that you have protected your pup from the deadly effects of heat stress & stroke, consider trying our Luxury Dog Cooling Coat. Unlike many others, our Cooling Coat doesn't need constant re-soaking plus it’s made from soft breathable fabric that allows air to circulate freely even during periods of exercise. Also worth noting, it's designed to cover the heart and chest area, crucial for bringing down the body temperature in the heat. The fabric also provides complete UV protection on the covered areas.
4. Limit outdoor activities
During hot days, it's important to limit your dog's outdoor activities, especially exercise. Reduce the intensity and duration of walks or play sessions to avoid overexertion and overheating. Instead, focus on indoor games and mental stimulation to keep your dog engaged and active without exposing them to excessive heat.
If your pup has a lot of energy and you struggle to keep things mellow in the heat, we highly recommend trying a cooling coat to help you and your pup stay stress-free in the heat.
5. Cool indoor environments
Creating a cool indoor environment is crucial for your dog's comfort. If you have air conditioning, ensure that the temperature is set to a comfortable level. Alternatively, use fans or natural ventilation to improve air circulation.
Providing cool flooring surfaces, such as tiles or cooling mats, where your dog can lie down, can also be helpful. Equally, setting up a doggie pool or sprinkler is a fun way for your pup to cool off on hot days.
6. Recognise signs of overheating
As a responsible dog-owner, it's essential to recognise the signs of overheating in your dog so that you can take prompt action. Heavy panting, excessive drooling, weakness, and lethargy are the most common signs of heat stress. Vomiting or diarrhoea may also occur in severe cases. If you notice any of these symptoms, move your dog to a cool area immediately and if required seek the advice of a vet.
7. Know your dog's breed and susceptibility to heat
Different dog breeds have varying levels of heat tolerance. Brachycephalic breeds, such as Bulldogs and Pugs, are particularly susceptible to heat-related issues due to their compromised respiratory systems. Senior dogs will also face an increased risk of heat intolerance. Understanding your dog's breed and their specific needs will help you take appropriate measures to keep them cool and safe in the heat.
8. Travelling with your dog in high temperatures:
When traveling with your dog during hot weather, it's essential to plan ahead. Schedule rest stops in shaded areas and give them regular water. For long journeys we recommend using a cooling matt or cooling coat in the car. Remember to stop regularly to allow your dog to walk around and get some fresh air.
Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car, even for a short period. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, leading to heatstroke and potentially fatal consequences.
How to Cool Down a Panting Dog
If the heat has already set in and your pup is panting and showing signs of overheating, there are several effective ways to cool down a panting dog and provide them relief from the heat. Here are some methods you can try:
Move your dog to a shaded area where they can escape direct sunlight. Shade helps reduce the temperature around them and provides some relief from the heat.
Offer water and wet their body:
Make sure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times. Panting is a way for dogs to regulate their body temperature, and they can lose a significant amount of moisture in the process. Providing water helps keep them hydrated and aids in cooling them down. Use a damp towel or sponge to wet your dog's body with cool (not cold) water. Focus on areas where blood vessels are closer to the surface, such as the belly, armpits, and groin. This helps cool them down through evaporation.
Use a cooling coat or mat:
Lay down a cooling mat or damp towel for your dog to lie on. These surfaces provide a cool area for them to rest and can help lower their body temperature. For faster results, try our Luxury Dog Cooling Coat that provides instant relief.
Offer frozen treats:
Frozen treats, such as ice cubes or specially made dog-friendly ice pops, can provide instant relief. These treats not only help cool your dog down from the inside but also serve as an enjoyable distraction.
Avoid engaging your dog in strenuous physical activity during hot weather. Intense exercise can quickly lead to overheating. Instead, opt for light play or mental stimulation indoors.
Never leave them in a parked car:
We cannot stress this one enough.
It's crucial never to leave your dog unattended in a parked car, even for a short period. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, putting your dog at risk of heatstroke and serious health issues.
Remember, if you notice excessive panting, difficulty breathing, lethargy, or any other signs of heatstroke in your dog, seek immediate veterinary attention. Prompt intervention is vital to ensure their well-being and avoid heat-exhaustion or worse.
Regular grooming can contribute to better heat regulation by removing excess hair and mats to allow better airflow and prevent overheating. Use a detangler such as our Natural Conditioner & Detangler for Dogs, that can be applied to wet or dry fur to maintain a healthy coat and promote regular shedding. Additionally, try to avoid hot pavement and roads during walks by sticking to shaded paths or using protective booties.
First aid for overheating:
If your dog shows signs of overheating, it's crucial to administer first aid promptly and consult your vet immediately.
Q: Can I shave my dog's fur to keep them cool in the heat?
A: It's generally not recommended to shave a dog's fur as it provides insulation against both heat and cold. Additionally, there is a risk of exposing their sensitive skin to UV rays and increasing chance of sunburn. Instead, focus on regular grooming to keep their coat in good condition.
Q: What are the signs of heatstroke in dogs?
A: Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, rapid heartbeat, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, and collapse. Seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect heatstroke.
Q: Can I leave my dog outside with a fan during hot weather?
A: While a fan can help improve air circulation, it's important not to leave your dog outside unsupervised. Dogs should be monitored and have access to shade, water, and a cool indoor area to retreat to should they choose to.
Q: Are certain dog breeds more susceptible to heat?
A: Yes, brachycephalic breeds (e.g. Bulldogs, Pugs) and dogs with thick or black coats are more prone to heat-related issues. Additionally, older dogs and those with underlying health conditions are also at higher risk.
Q: Can I give my dog ice cubes to cool them down?
A: It's generally safe to give your dog ice cubes as long as they don't chew on them excessively. However, it's best to provide other cooling options like frozen treats or cooling coats for prolonged relief.
Q: How can I tell if the pavement is too hot for my dog to walk on?
A: As a general rule, if it's too hot for your hands or feet, it will be too hot for your pup's paws.
Keeping your dog cool in the heat is crucial to their well-being and health. By providing shade, water, and using cooling accessories, you can help prevent overheating and heat-related issues. Managing outdoor activities, creating cool indoor environments, and recognising signs of overheating are essential steps in ensuring your dog's comfort during hot weather. Remember to be mindful of your dog's breed and susceptibility to heat, and take appropriate measures to keep them safe.
Natural Conditioner & Detangler
Natural Skin, Nose & Paw Balm with Vitamin E, Shea Butter & Hemp Oil
"We purchased one of these for our 10 month old working cocker spaniel puppy Cosmo who has already been struggling in the 15-20 degree heat, being a working boy it’s hard to keep him relaxed and cool as all he wants to do is go zoomies out on walks! We are super pleased with this as he’s been so much more comfortable in the sun and running around with his besties, who are now jealous so going to have to buy some more for them!"
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