How to Keep Dogs Cool In Summer

10 Proven Strategies to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer Weather

Keeping dogs cool in summer is essential for their health and well-being. After 2 decades of working in a doggie daycare setting and seeing the risks of heat exhaustion firsthand, I've compiled 10 expert tips to help your furry friends beat the heat. This article covers everything from hydration and shade to cooling mats, grooming, and recognizing signs of overheating, ensuring your dog stays comfortable and safe during the hottest months.

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    1. Provide Plenty of Fresh Water

    Hydration is key when it comes to keeping dogs cool in summer. Without sufficient water, dogs can quickly overheat and suffer from heatstroke. We make sure our dogs always have access to fresh water, both inside and outside. For outdoor play, we use portable water bowls and dispensers, which are perfect for on-the-go hydration.

    Additionally, adding ice cubes to their water bowls can keep the water cooler for longer, encouraging them to drink more. This simple step can make a significant difference in their comfort during hot days.

    2. Create Shady Areas

    When the sun is blazing, shade is a dog's best friend. We create shady spots in our yard using trees, umbrellas, and canopies. These areas provide a cool retreat for dogs to relax and escape the direct heat.

    For those without natural shade, portable options like pop-up tents or shade sails work wonders. We've found that setting up these shaded spots not only helps keep our dogs cool but also makes outdoor time more enjoyable for them.

    3. Use Cooling Mats and Beds

    Cooling mats are a game-changer for summer. These mats are designed to regulate a dog's body temperature by absorbing heat and providing a cool surface to lie on. We've tested several types and found them incredibly effective, especially for breeds like Huskies, which are prone to overheating. Our Bernese Mountain Dog struggled on car rides until we got him a cooling mat to lay on.

    In addition to cooling mats, elevated beds can also help by allowing air to circulate underneath, keeping dogs cooler. These products are excellent for both indoor and outdoor use, ensuring our pets stay comfortable wherever they are.

    4. Avoid Midday Walks

    Walking dogs during peak heat can be dangerous. We schedule walks for early mornings or late evenings when the temperatures are cooler. This not only protects our dogs from the intense heat but also makes the walks more pleasant for us.

    For times when it's simply too hot to go outside, we engage in indoor activities to keep our dogs active without risking overheating. Puzzle toys, training sessions, and short indoor play sessions are great alternatives. You might find that mental stimulation wears your dog out more than physical, and it’s a great way to reinforce good behaviors.

    5. Offer Frozen Treats

    Frozen treats are a fun and delicious way to keep dogs cool. We love making DIY frozen treats using simple ingredients like yogurt, peanut butter, and fruit. These treats are easy to prepare and provide a refreshing break from the heat.

    Store-bought options are also available and can be a quick solution. Offering these treats not only cools our dogs down but also keeps them hydrated and entertained.

    6. Keep Indoor Spaces Cool

    Ensuring a cool indoor environment is crucial, especially for dogs left inside without AC. We use fans and air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature. Setting up a designated cool spot with a fan or a cooling mat helps our dogs stay cool and comfortable throughout the day.

    For those who don't have air conditioning, placing ice packs wrapped in towels in their dog's favorite resting spots can provide relief from the heat. These simple measures go a long way in preventing overheating indoors.

    7. Grooming Tips for Summer

    Proper grooming can significantly impact a dog's ability to stay cool. We recommend regular brushing to remove excess fur and prevent matting, which can trap heat. However, it's important to note that shaving a dog isn't always the best solution, especially for breeds with double coats like Huskies. Their fur provides insulation that protects them from both heat and cold.

    For dogs with long hair, trimming can help reduce heat, but always consult a professional groomer to ensure it's done correctly. Regular baths can also help keep dogs cool and clean during the summer months.

    8. Use Dog Pools and Sprinklers

    Water play is one of the best ways to cool dogs down. We set up dog-friendly pools in our yard, which our dogs absolutely love. These pools are shallow and safe, providing a fun and refreshing way for dogs to beat the heat. Sprinklers are another great option, offering an exciting and interactive way for dogs to cool off.

    Some dog parks and dog daycares offer organized water play with splash pad features. Petropolis Empowered Pet Care has a great example of water play.

    9. Protective Gear for Hot Weather

    Cooling vests and bandanas are fantastic tools for keeping dogs cool during outdoor activities. These items are designed to retain moisture and provide a cooling effect as the water evaporates. We've used cooling vests on hikes and long walks, and they make a noticeable difference in our dogs' comfort.

    Other protective gear, such as booties, can protect dogs' paws from hot pavement, which can cause burns. Ensuring your dog has the right gear can prevent overheating and make outdoor adventures safer.

    10. Recognize Signs of Overheating

    Dogs cool their bodies differently than humans. They express the heat through behaviors like panting, and they sweat very little. Typically, the only place you will see a dog sweat is through their paws when they leave wet footprints on a walk. Learn more about canine cooling mechanisms.

    Symptoms of overheating include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and in severe cases, vomiting or collapse. If you notice any of these signs, act immediately by moving your dog to a cool area, offering water, and applying cool (not cold) wet towels to their body.

    Knowing how to respond quickly can save your dog's life. Preventive measures, such as those mentioned in this article, are essential in avoiding these dangerous situations.

    Key Takeaways

    Keeping dogs cool in summer is vital for their health and happiness. By providing fresh water, creating shady areas, using cooling mats, avoiding midday walks, offering frozen treats, maintaining cool indoor spaces, following proper grooming tips, engaging in water play, using protective gear, and recognizing signs of overheating, we can ensure our furry friends stay comfortable and safe during the hottest months. These strategies not only prevent heat-related issues but also enhance the overall well-being of our pets.

    10 Proven Strategies to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer Weather
    Joseph Schifano Founder of DogNerdly

    Joseph Schifano is the President of The Academy of Pet Careers and Founder of DogNerdly.

    With over 20 years of professional pet experience, Joseph got his start as an owner/operator of a 7-figure, all-inclusive pet care business. From there, he purchased The Academy of Pet Careers with a hopes of improving the quality of care provided by industry professionals. This role allowed Joseph to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the industry, and gain knowledge in every aspect of pet care.

    After witnessing the popularity of social media influencers and the amount of misinformation being taught to pet parents, Joseph decided to create DogNerdly. The goal was to provide science-backed education for the average dog nerd in order to create a world where dogs and humans can live a more harmonious and empowered lifestyle.

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