How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

Black dog in the water.

How to keep dog cool in the summer

Sweating is one of the ways that our body regulates its temperature. You might have heard stories that dogs do not sweat, and therefore, it is very important to keep them cool during hot summer days and prevent possible unpleasant conditions. Rather than relying upon sweat, the principal mechanism that a dog uses to cool himself involves panting with his mouth open. In this way, the dog can manage to make a significant cooling effect to his body temperature.

The important thing to know is that dogs, in fact, do sweat. It is just that they sweat in a different way. Sweating is associated only with areas where there is no hair, such as paw pads. You will sometimes see a trail of wet footprints that he has left behind, as he walked across the floor. That is one the signals that your dog is overheated and needs cooling.

Here is how you can make sure your dog stays cool on hot days:

1. Supply him with lots of water.

Make sure the water in the bowl is fresh. When you go out, take a portable bowl and a bottle of water.

2. Play with them and spray them with water!

Spray your dog with water and make sure to spray the paws and stomach, and not just the top of the dog, as dogs cool down from bottom-up. If you are using a wet towel, mind the fact that it does more good on the bottom of your dog than when laid on the top of the dog’s body.

3. Walk during cooler times of the day and avoid the asphalt.

Adjust the walking routine to early mornings and evenings. Paws can be as sensitive as the soles of your feet, so if the asphalt is too hot for you to walk on, chances are that it is too hot for your dog too. Plan the walks, so that you can alternate between asphalt and grass.

4. Provide proper shelter and let your dog dig.

If your dog spends most of his time outside, make sure there is a place for him to get out of direct sunlight. If it is possible, locate a shady area where it is okay for your dog to dig. Dogs in nature dig out their dens, not out of frustration, but to find food, to hide, give birth, and also – to keep cool.

5. Don’t give your dog a haircut.

A trim won’t help your dog handle the heat. It could only make him more likely to get sunburns. The hair actually provides a buffer to help the dog regulate his body temperature, so do not cut his hair, nor shave him.

6. Watch out for signs of dehydration.

React fast in case you notice any of these symptoms:
– sunken eyes,
– dry nose,
– dry mouth, thick saliva,
– vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite,
– urine of concentrated color, usually very dark,
– back warm to the touch,
– lethargy, tiredness.

Overheating can lead to a heat stroke, which is a condition that requires medical treatment.
If your dog belongs to a short-nosed, flat-faced breed, or has thick hair coat, pay special attention to his cooling because such breeds are more liable to heat stroke and hyperthermia (overheating).

7. Use a dog-friendly product for cooling.

A cooling vest is a great way to help your dog’s skin get the much-needed coolness on a hot summer day, by allowing it to breathe properly.

Make sure you take proper care of your dog and enjoy summer together!

 

Posted by
Lenka Laskova

Lenka usually spends her time reading and writing. She loves animals and nature. In spare time, she translates poetry.