In our beloved pets’ lives, summer heat poses a significant challenge. It’s critical for dog owners to understand how to keep dogs cool in the heat, especially given climate change and increasing global temperatures. In this extensive guide, we’ll explore scientifically-backed methods to keep your furry friends comfortable, safe and happy during warmer months.
Recognising Signs of Overheating in Dogs
Before we dive into cooling solutions, it’s important to recognise when your dog is uncomfortable or at risk. Dogs tend to heat up faster than humans, primarily because they don’t sweat and their fur acts as a heat trap. If you’re unsure if your dog is overheating please contact your vet immedietely.
Keep an eye out for these key signs of overheating:
- Excessive panting and salivation
- Rapid pulse
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Reddened gums
Remember: According to the PDSA, overheating can lead to fatal conditions like heatstroke in dogs. If you notice severe signs of overheating, it’s important to seek veterinary assistance immediately.
Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in Summer Heat
1. Provide Plenty of Water
Keeping your dog hydrated is crucial. Provide ample fresh, cold water to drink and consider adding ice cubes to keep it cool longer. Some dogs even enjoy crunching on the ice cubes as a refreshing treat!
2. Use Cooling Mats and Fans
Cooling mats, soaked in cold water, are a great way to give your dog a comfortable resting place. Additionally, fans or air conditioners can help maintain a cooler environment.
3. Freeze Dog Treats
Create fun, cooling snacks by freezing your dog’s favourite treats. You can freeze broth into cubes, or create a “pupsicle” by freezing a toy in a water-filled container.
4. Early Morning and Late Evening Walks
Avoid the peak heat hours for walks or playtime. The coolest times are typically early in the morning and late in the evening.
Canine-Friendly Water Games to Beat the Heat
Nothing spells fun and cool like water games for your furry friend. Whether it’s a splash in a paddling pool or a game of fetch with water balloons, these activities can keep your dog entertained and cool.
- Paddling Pool: Easily available and set up, these pools offer a great splash zone for dogs.
- Sprinklers: A running sprinkler can double as a fun game and a cooling method.
- Water Balloons: Fetch games with water balloons can be a wet and wild experience for your dog, helping them stay cool and happy.
Heat-Sensitive Dog Breeds: Is Your Dog More Vulnerable to Heat?
Certain dog breeds are more prone to heat-related complications due to their physical characteristics. Flat-faced or brachycephalic breeds, like Bulldogs and Pugs, have a harder time cooling down through panting. Dogs with thick or long coats, such as Huskies and Golden Retrievers, can also struggle in the heat.
Special Care for Heat-Sensitive Breeds
If your dog belongs to a heat-sensitive breed, consider investing in special cooling vests and bandanas. These products are designed to maintain a lower body temperature and can be particularly beneficial for these breeds.
Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. While this guide provides an overview of how to keep dogs cool in the heat, it’s crucial to monitor your dog’s comfort level and adapt strategies as required.
Always consult with a professional if you’re unsure. After all, the safety and wellbeing of our furry friends is the most important thing.
Emma Wally is the founder of thedoggeeks.com, a website for dog owners in the UK and the rest of the world. Emma has a lifelong love of dogs and has devoted years to learning and training dogs of various kinds and ages.
Emma’s love for dogs and animals started as a child with looking after many different pets from fish, to dogs and even sheep. This love for animals led her into the world of dog training; with a real passion in positive reinforcement techniques.
Dog training specialist
Emma has completed multiple certifications in dog training, focussing on positive reinforcement techniques.
Puppy socialisation group
Emma is also the founder of 'Stony Stratford Puppy and Dog Group'. This growing community of dog enthusiasts provides weekly socialistion for new puppies and dogs wanting to integrate into socialisation, as well as giving specialist training advice for dog owners wanting to address problems... Or just wanting to give their pup the best life they can!
Kobe is Emma's current fluffy best friend. Being a Tibetan Terrier she can be stubborn at times but has the biggest personality for such a small dog.
Passionate about Dogs
Emma Wally is more than just a dog trainer; she is a mentor, a guide, and a friend to all dog owners seeking to build a better relationship with their furry companions. Her commitment to enhancing the lives of dogs and their owners is evident in every piece of advice she shares, making her a trusted and respected figure in the dog training community. Trust Emma, and you trust a true dog geek.