Hot Dog Summer: 7 Ways To Keep Your Dog Cool

Hot dog summer days usually mean all of us are outside more, soaking in the sun or going on adventures. As fun as summer can be, it can get super hot and it’s important to make sure your dogs are cool and comfortable in the heat. 

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re hot, your dog is definitely hot too – maybe even more so. You’ll also notice your dog begins to pant a lot more if they’re hot. Us humans sweat to cool ourselves down but dogs pant.

We’re going to take a look at what heat stroke is and how it can affect your dog. We’ve also got some great tips to keep your dog cool. Let’s dive right in.

What is heat stroke?

Many of us are familiar with what heat stroke is but here’s a little refresher and how it affects dogs. 

Heat stroke is when your body has an elevated body temperature. If your dog’s body temperature is above 41°C without any previous signs of illness then this is most commonly due to excessive external or environmental heat then this can be referred to as heat stroke. 

Heat stroke in dogs is life-threatening because when their temperatures reach between 41.2°C and 42.7°C, they can experience multiple organ failure and death.  

This is why it’s so important to ensure your pets are cool and comfy during summer. 

What are the signs of heat stroke in dogs?

The first signs of heat stroke include: 

  • Heavy panting and rapid breathing 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Dry mucous membranes 
  • Bright red gums and tongue 
  • Skin hot to the touch
  • Increased heart rate 

Dogs who are experiencing heat stroke can also become hyperactive and struggle to maintain their balance.

As the heat stroke worsens, your dog may go into shock which means they’ll have pale mucous membranes with white or blue gums, a very rapid heart rate, and a drop in blood pressure. 

Your dog may start to hyperventilate and become severely dehydrated. Some other server symptoms include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Irregular pulse 
  • Muscle tremors
  • Lethargy and unwillingness to move 
  • Urinate or defecate uncontrollably 
  • Collapse and become comatose

We’re not trying to scare you with these symptoms but this is just a reminder of how serious heat stroke can be and why you need to keep a close eye on your furry friend this summer. We have some amazing tips to keep your dog cool. 

Tips to keep your dog cool

Preventing heatstroke is far better than trying to treat it. Here are some easy ways to help your dog love the summer heat;

  1. Provide plenty of fresh drinking water

Whether you’re on a walk or at the beach or your dog is in your backyard, make sure there is readily available clean, cold water. 

Make sure you always carry water with you if you take your dog on a hike, run or walk so that they’re always hydrated. Take a look at some of these nifty dog-friendly water bottles

If your dog is home, outside most of the day, make sure they have a great bowl or fountain filled with loads of water to last them. 

  1. Splash pool

A mini pool is a fantastic way for your dog to cool off. Your dog only needs enough water to wet their paws and belly to cool them down. Make sure you always supervise your dog if they go into deep water.

Wet dogs are cool dogs so consider including some fun water activities like letting your dog play in the sprinklers or taking them to a dog park that has a little dam.

  1. Give them a shady spot to lie down 

Dogs will naturally look for a cool spot to relax. If your garden doesn’t have any shade, make some. You can give your dog its own patio or shaded canopy etc. It doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate but just enough to give your dog the shade it needs. 

  1. An ice pack, cooling mat or raised bed

There are many goodies on the market that are perfect for cooling your furry best friend down. 

You can add ice packs covered in a cloth to their bed or where they rest to cool them off. You can also buy them a cooling mat which you can freeze overnight. You’ll then lay the cooling mat down on the ground the next day for them to use. 

And lastly, you can get your dog a raised bed. Raised beds allow for air to move freely underneath your dog so that they are not laying in their own body heat. 

  1. Use a cooling collar or vest

Cooling collars and vests work very similarly to a cooling mat. They have a special cooling gel inside of them and are designed to keep your dog cool for a few hours at a time. 

They can be easily cleaned, meaning they’re always fresh. Plus, you can usually accelerate their coolness by freezing the gel patch overnight. 

  1. Avoid exercising on hot days

Try your best to never expose your dog to unnecessary activities on hot days. Don’t take them for walks or runs when you are even uncomfortable with the heat. It is very easy for dogs to overheat and their physical activity is not as important as their overall health. 

Make sure you also avoid the midday heat. Noon is usually when the sun is at its hottest, try to keep your dog indoors.  

  1. Never leave your dog in a parked car

There is not much explanation needed here. This should be your number one rule regardless of the heat. 

Your car can easily become an oven when it’s parked outside – please never leave your dog in the car, even if you’ve cracked a window. 

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