How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Summer

by Jamie Tedder on Jun 24, 2024


Summer has us heading outside to enjoy the warm days and sunshine the season brings. As pet owners, we probably look forward to spending the days with our canine companions. However, while we may be equipped with hats, sunscreen, and plenty of water, remember that our dogs also need extra care to stay cool and comfortable in the heat.

The Risks of Overheating and Heat Stroke in Dogs

The summer heat isn't only stifling for dogs—it can put them at serious risk for overheating and heat stroke. Unlike humans, dogs don't have sweat glands all over their bodies and thus can't sweat to cool down. Instead, they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads. Additionally, their bodies are mostly covered in fur, with little exposed skin to help dissipate heat. This means that their natural cooling methods are often insufficient in severely hot weather, making them prone to overheating.

Certain breeds need even more attention. For example, white or fine-coated breeds like Bull Terriers and Greyhounds are highly susceptible to sunburn. On the other hand, black-coated dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers and Newfoundlands, tend to absorb more heat, increasing their risk of overheating and heat stroke.

How to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer Season

Understanding the risks associated with extreme heat and taking the necessary precautions can help your dog stay cool and have fun in the summer.

Keep Them Hydrated

Ensuring your pets always have access to cool, fresh water is essential for regulating their body temperature and preventing heat stroke. Place multiple water bowls in different areas around the house. Consider adding ice cubes to their water as well to keep it cold longer, making it more refreshing for your dogs.

Walk at Cooler Times of the Day

Exercise is essential for your dog's physical and mental well-being, but make sure to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Schedule walks and playtime for early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower and the sun is less intense. This reduces the risk of heat stroke and prevents your dog's paw pads from getting burned on hot pavement. Additionally, choose an alternative shaded route or a dog park with plenty of trees to protect your dog from direct sunlight.

Skip the Outdoors Altogether

On extremely hot days, it may be best to forgo the outdoors and instead focus on indoor activities to keep your dog mentally stimulated. Treat tumblers, brain games, and refresher training sessions can provide a good mental workout. Indoor grass pads for dogs can also be a convenient alternative for potty breaks, recreating their familiar outdoor environment. These indoor activities, along with the use of grass pads, can help maintain your dog's routine and energy levels without exposing them to the extreme heat outside.


Turn on the Air Conditioner

Running the air conditioning to keep your dog's body cool may increase your electric bill, but it's a smaller price to pay than the cost of emergency vet bills from heat-related illnesses. Placing a fan where your dog usually stays can also help save your dog from heat exhaustion.

Invest in Dog Cooling Supplies

Dogs naturally seek out cool surfaces when they feel hot, so providing cooling mats designed to stay cool for extended periods can provide a comfortable place for them to rest. Wet towels, cooling vests, ice packs, and frozen toys can also be lifesavers, providing immediate relief and helping regulate your dog's body temperature.

Prepare Ice Treats

Ice treats are a fun and effective way to help your dog cool down. It can be as simple as ice cubes or you can make homemade frozen treats like dog-safe popsicles or frozen fruits and vegetables like watermelon or carrots. These treats provide a refreshing cool-down and keep your dog entertained at the same time.

Let Them Play in the Water

Water play can be an enjoyable way to help your dog stay cool during the summer. Set up a paddling pool in your backyard, or turn on the garden sprinklers for added fun. Many dogs love splashing around, which can provide a great way to cool down on a hot day. Even a hose or water spray can offer a refreshing break from the heat.


Final Thoughts

As responsible pet owners, we should take proactive measures to ensure our dogs stay cool and hydrated, preventing dangerous conditions like heat stroke and heat exhaustion. In addition to taking these steps, it's crucial to know and recognize the signs of heat stroke in dogs, including excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and collapse. Immediate action is necessary if you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, as it can be life-threatening.

Following these tips and staying vigilant can help your dog stay safe, cool, and happy all summer long. Visit our blog for more dog care tips.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.