Summer is coming up and though the hot sun and summer heat feels great on our skin, our furry companions need extra attention in order to be comfortable.
With a few extra tools and a watchful eye, you can ensure that your dog stays cool all summer long while they play and enjoy the outdoors with you!
This article will walk you through a few simple steps to keep your dog cool in summer without any emergencies that could put his health at risk.
Tips for Keeping Dogs Cool Outdoors in the Summer
The most important thing to keep in mind during the summer months is the heat and the humidity. If it’s too hot for you outside, it’s probably too hot for your dog.
While mornings and evenings are cool times for a walk, mid-day can be miserable and is the best time to stay inside and keep hydrated!
Taking care of dogs during the summer is similar to taking care of yourself. A big component of this is hydration.
Your dog should always have access to water. If they’re a big gulper that will drink all day long if you let them, monitor their water intake and set out small bowls on a regular basis. If you can trust them to drink when they’re thirsty, leave out a large bowl all day.
It’s also not a bad idea to hydrate their kibble during the summer months, for an extra boost of hydration! If for any reason your dog isn’t drinking or you suspect they’re dehydrated, bring them to the vet as this can be exacerbated during the summer and can cause a lot of complications due to the heat.
Products to Keep Dogs Cool in the Summer
You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of fancy gadgets to ensure that your pet is cool and comfortable all summer. In fact, many objects that you have sitting around the house now will work perfectly!
Dampen towels for cooling mats
Wet some old towels and place them on the floor or porch for a cool place for your dog to lay and rest. This gives them an excellent spot to cool down!
Turn on your sprinkler
Looking hot outside? I’m sure your grass, and your dog, would love the sprinkler! Just be mindful if you decide to use your hose instead, as hoses store water in them and heat that water up in the sun.
If you want to spray your hose on your dog, or plants, or even use it to refill your dog’s water, spray it on the ground for a few seconds first to let all of the hot water run out.
Fill up the kiddie pool
A kiddie pool is a great way to let your dog cool off! Fill it up and keep it in the shade to ensure the water stays cold all day long. Just be mindful of bugs and supervise small dogs.
Cover your dog’s feet while outdoors
If you have to go out anywhere with pavement during the day, make sure that you use boots or shoes for your dog to protect their paws. See how to protect your dog paws from hot pavement.
Keep them well-groomed
Things like mats and tangles can weigh your dog down and make them hot, so ensure that they are groomed all summer long so that they stay cool and don’t overheat!
Rinse their mouth with water to cool them down
Dogs salivate and pant to keep cool, so rinsing their mouths with cool water is a great way to help them cool down!
Things to Look Out for During the Summer with Dogs
Summer is a great time to take your dog out with the family. However, there are certain precautions that should be taken to ensure your pet’s safety. Keep reading to learn more.
Be Mindful of Car Trips During the Summer
Though we all love bringing our dogs with us on quick runs to the store, it may be best to reconsider allowing them to wait for you in the car during the summer months.
While a quick run inside may seem harmless, the inside of your car gets hot quickly during the summer and can pose a danger to your pet if they’re left unattended.
In fact, after an hour the average car temperature is 43 degrees higher than the temperature outside of the car! The second that you turn the car off and close the door, it starts rising and if your furry friend is left inside, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Experts say that it is only safe to leave your dog in the car alone when the temperature is between 30 F and 70 F, and only for five minutes at a time.
Even at 70 degrees, the temperature can rise and become dangerous very quickly. The best practice is to leave your dog at home while going to places that aren’t pet friendly, to stay on the safe side!
Dog houses can get extremely hot during the summer due to a lack of airflow. If your dog has a dog house outdoors, ensure that it is in the shade and if possible install a fan or even a small AC unit inside it.
If they don’t have a dog house, make sure they have access to somewhere shady every time they are inside!
Remember that dogs do not sweat like us, so we have to look out for them and ensure that they are able to get out of the heat to cool down. They can’t communicate like we can, so it’s our job as pet owners to be proactive.
For your convenience, we’ve put together a helpful dog body language guide so you can learn about all the ways dogs communicate with you. Check it out.
Check the Pavement
Before taking your dog on a walk, check the pavement with the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!
Check with Your Vet Before Grooming
Some pet owners go straight to shaving their dogs during the summer months in an attempt to cool them down, but this can actually do more harm than good! In fact, many long-haired dogs actually use their hair to keep them cool.
If you aren’t sure what a proper summer groom looks like for your dog, contact your vet and put the shears down! Shaved is not always the best and keeping up with breed appropriate standards is critical for ensuring they are comfortable in the heat.
Watch for Signs of Heat Stroke
Dogs have a much higher body temperature than humans, but it’s still just as important to monitor them for signs of heatstroke during the summer.
Some tell-tale symptoms are:
- Loss of consciousness
- Salivation that is excessive
- Glazed eyes
- Excessive panting
- Lack of coordination
Remember that these signs can appear even days later, so it’s important to stay vigilant. If you notice any of these things, contact your vet.
If your dog appears to be mildly uncomfortable with the heat, bring them inside and check their temperature! A temperature of 104 or over means they need to be inside and out of the sun.
If it drops after a while, keep monitoring them and allow them to rest. If their temperature stays high for a while after stopping activity, contact your vet.
Keep Your Dog Cool this Summer
The summer heat can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Grab a thermometer and keep an eye on your pet this summer and they will be just fine.
The best thing that you can do for them and yourself is to be proactive, knowing the signs of heatstroke, and keeping them in the shade and cool as much as possible. Keep them hydrated, keep them well-fed, and have a great summer!
Do you have any secret tricks for keeping your dogs cool in the summer? Let us know in the comments! And share this article with all the pet lovers out there to ensure that we all have a safe summer season!