Summers are spiking up every year in different parts of the world. New buildings and deforestation have imbalanced nature. This explains why we feel hotter each year. Not only we human beings but also a large population of animals. For us, we keep ourselves cool by taking certain measures. However, we should ask ourselves what about our animals and pets? They cannot completely undertake these measures by themselves. Therefore, we need to intervene and help our animals and pets when summer begins. Based on my experience with my dog, here is a detailed guideline on how to keep a dog cool in the summer.
How to keep a dog cool in the summer-Best Practices
- Give the dog Ice when it is overheated instead of water
- Do not walk the dog on hot pavement in the summer because it is barefoot
- Do not run or walk it in the heat of the day
- Have a cooling mat
- If your dog is black and dark-colored, ensure to put a moist towel over its back.
- Fill a Kiddie pool or Paddling pool with water and ice then let your dog hang out in it as much as he wants
- Do not leave the dog in the car in the summer.
- Pay attention to your dog and its conditions.
1. Give the Dog Ice when it is Overheated Instead of Water
Both ice and water provide moisture, but why are we recommending ice over water? Well, dogs will chew the ice to get the moisture as opposed to sipping the water. In this case, the ice provides moisture in a considerable manner not so quickly that the dog will throw up. Additionally, you should know that overheated dogs and tons of water is a lethal formula for bloat. Therefore, these are the main reasons I recommend Ice if you want to keep a dog cool in the summer.
If you are wondering how to keep a dog cool outside, put some ice in her drinking water and put it in a shade. Make sure that the dog drinks the water at an interval of 30 minutes. Trust me, the dog will enjoy chewing the ice.
For food, you can fill a Kong with fresh fruits. The fruits can be chopped up apples, peaches, and pears (no grapes). Add peanut butter and apple sauce or wet dog food. Freeze it and trust me, your dog will go nuts for this!
2. Do not Walk the dog on hot pavement
Are you wondering how to keep a dog cool in the summer using this approach? Then Imagine walking barefoot on hot pavement. How would that feel to you? I know you now get the idea. Pavement is made of concrete which absorbs a lot of heat. When this heat is radiated, it burns anything on top of the pavement. Therefore, this is how the dog feels when you walk on hot pavement in the summer. Therefore, if you intend to keep a dog cool outside, keep it away from the pavement.
Alternatively, if you are planning to use the pavement, check its temperature. Use your palm to test the temperature on the pavement. You should only allow your dog to use the pavement if your palm feels comfortable on it. Otherwise, if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog’s paws.
What I like doing to check the temperature of the pavement is to pour some water on the asphalt. If the water steams, I know that the pavement is too hot for my dog. Therefore, I will not allow her to walk over the pavement. You can also use this tactic as I found it effective.
3. Do not run or walk the dog in the heat of the day
Dogs have fur on their skin. What this fur does is that it absorbs a lot of heat when left exposed to the sun. When strolling around with my dog, I realized that there is a high temptation for one to walk in the sun. However, you should know that the dog does not understand this concept. Therefore, it is up to you as the dog owner to ensure that it is always in the shade to avoid absorbing heat.
Do not take the dog on long hikes in the summer. Dogs are ridiculously stoic and they will keep on pushing until they collapse. Additionally, they heat up quicker compared to humans due to the fur on their bodies. The interesting fact is that even when they heat, dogs don’t sweat. Thus, they don’t replenish body electrolytes as we do. Therefore, this is dangerous for your dog.
With this in mind, my advice is that you should never shave your dog. The coat of the dog is designed to help him regulate his body temperature. Therefore, if you shave it, the dog is going to be at more risk of overheating. Your dog can also get sunburned if you shaved her coat.
4. Have a Cooling Mat
A cooling mat is another tip on how to keep a dog cool in the summer. At this point, I know you are probably wondering why a dog cooling mat. In most cases, your dog is happy lying on the floor. However, I want you to ask yourself, “Would I lie on the cold, hard floor to cool off?” Obviously, your answer is a big no. You will go for a soft, comfortable, and clean mat. Therefore, why not do the same for your closest friend, your dog?
Dog cooling mats prevent a dog from dehydrating because they don’t get that hot. These mats are made from the best fluffy materials which does not absorb heat. Therefore, the function of this mat is to drain heat from the fur of the dog and let it out. This keeps the dog perfectly cool in the summer.
Apart from cooling your dogs, these mats ensure that the dog gets a perfect sleep. With these mats, the dog will not be tossing and turning in hopes of getting comfortable before she can sleep. This I witnessed with my dog, Rex. She could comfortably sleep while on a sleeping mat than any other place. The reason for this is that the mat makes the temperatures conducive for the dog to sleep. Alternatively, if you feel it’s too hot, you can put the mat in a freezer until solid. Pull it out and let your pup lay on it.
5. Put a Moist Towel over the Dog’s Back
Science states that black and dark colors absorb a lot of heat. With this knowledge, it is clear that if your dog is dark-colored, it absorbs more heat, which can lead to heatstroke. To keep a dark-colored dog cool in the summer, get a moist towel and place it on the dog’s back. What does this do? We know that evaporation is the best way of cooling skin. This is why humans sweat and as the sweat evaporates, it cools the skin. This is what the moist towel does for the dog. Because dogs do not sweat, a moist towel will cool the dog by losing moisture. It would also be best if you get a white towel that can also reflect heat.
6. Have a Kiddie Pool or Paddling Pool with Water
Are you wondering how you can keep a dog cool outside in the summer? Then this is your remedy. A kiddie pool or paddling pool with water acts as a moist surface where the dog can get cooled. By inserting the legs or the entire body in the water, the dog gets cooled. As the water evaporates from the surface of the body, the dog feels the cooling effect. Thus, this is an effective guide on how to keep a dog cool in the summer.
If the dog avoids this pool, you can pretend to be playing with her. Through a stick or boll in the water. The dog will run after it and insert her legs or entire body in the water. You target will then have been achieved.
7. Never Leave a Dog in the Car in the Summer
During summer, the temperatures are as high as 70 degrees. What you should know is that cars are like tinderboxes. When the sun heats the metal, the interior heat rises from 20 to 50 degrees hotter than the ambient air according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In this condition, a dog can die in as little as 5 minutes. Alternatively, it can die a long, slow death in a hot car. This will happen even when the windows are partly opened or with water in the car.
Do not deceive yourself that you parked under a shaded area. the temperature in the car rises quickly. This happens even when the car is parked for a few minutes. Therefore, because I know how dear a dog is, always leave with your dog when you park somewhere.
8. Pay Attention to your dog and its Conditions
This is the final guideline on how to keep a dog cool in the summer. As a dog owner, you should be aware of the normal conditions of your dog. In this case, you might be having fun outside but your dog is suffering. Therefore, you should be able to check for heatstroke signs. Here are the dog heatstroke signs you should look for when you are outdoors with a dog in the summer:
- Glazed eyes
- Heavy panting
- Excessive salivation as the dog tries to cool itself
- Discomfort signs like itching skin
- Rapid breathing which might also mean that the dog is dehydrated.
- Rapid pulse
If you notice any of these signs on your dog, please act fast. The first thing to do is to remove her from the sun and hydrate her. Take the dog to a shaded area with a free flow of air and cover it with a moist towel. However, you should not let her into a paddling pool or drink a lot of water as these are the causes of shock in dogs.
Summer is getting intense in most parts of the world due to climate change. During the summer many people like spending time outdoors with their dogs which are companions. This is done to get fresh air and also to bond with the dog. However, great care must be taken to prevent dog heatstroke. Because dogs cannot sweat or cool themselves, it is our role to protect them. This guide on how to keep a dog cool in the summer will help you take care of your dog.