How To Keep Your Dog Cool During The Summer

  • 03/01/2021

Summer is the most enjoyable and outdoorsy time of the year for human beings but what about our furry little companions? Is your dog as excited as you are about the summer heat? Regardless of whether your dog has a heavy coat of fur or not, most canines can stay healthy and active in the heat if you take proper measures to protect them. However, certain breeds of dogs can adapt the warmer climates better than other breeds.

Effects of hot climate on different breeds

Almost all dog breeds that originate in areas of a hot climate, where the weather is warm in the summer months or even year-round are well acclimated to hot weather. Therefore, all of these breeds have some features in common that allow them to easily tolerate hot climates.

Dogs such as the Bulldog and Boxer from the brachycephalic dog family have flat faces and short snouts. Therefore, they are the breeds that are not suited for hot climates. Due to their short snouts, the air they inhale does not get enough time to cool down before passing through to the respiratory system. Moreover, they cannot pant effectively for cooling down their body heat. Furthermore, large breeds like Saint Bernard also do not fare well in a harsh hot climate because of the exercise routine they are required to follow if they are to stay healthy and maintain their weight.

Dogs with heavy, thick, and long fur who are especially suitable for regions with heavy snowfall are undoubtedly the breeds who have the most trouble keeping their body cool like the Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute, and Samoyed.

Although dogs with little and thin coats stay comfortable, they can’t escape from summer troubles. Sunburn is a major concern for these breeds who have too little fur. However, the best dogs that are naturally adaptable in warmer weather are ones that have a short coat that is sufficiently dense.

Older dogs or dogs with existing health issues and overweight dogs are also at risk of suffering most due to higher temperature.

7      Tips on keeping your dog cool during summer

Here are 7 tips on keeping your dog cool during the summer.

1.      Put Out Plenty of Cold Fresh Water and Provide Shade

Hydration is the most important factor to keep in mind for your dog during summer. Make sure to put out various sources of freshwater around your house and backyard. Also, provide shade in the backyard during bright and hot days where your pooch can lie down and rest.

2.      Have Your Dog Play with Water

Most dogs love jumping in puddles and making a mess. It’s a fun and active way of keeping your dog cool. Therefore, plan some outdoor activities for your furry friend to paddle into a pool, run around a sprinkler, or dive into a lake. This way your pooch will get sufficient exercise without suffering from the heat. Moreover, you can invent and introduce new games your dog enjoys that do not involve running around too much like hiding and finding objects, puzzle-solving, treat tricks, etc.

3.      Beware of the Rising Heat during Midday

Summer is the best time for outdoor activities but the noon and early evenings can be very hot and peak times to get a bad case of sunburn. Along with that, the heat is also unbearable during that time. So you must keep your pets indoors during midday. Usually, the sun is at its hottest between 1 pm to 3 pm.

4.      Check the Pavement When They Walk On It

If you plan on taking your pet for a walk check if the pavement is too hot for his paws. The best way to avoid burning your pooch’s paw pads is to make him walk on grass instead of concrete paths.

5.      Prevent Sunburn

Dogs also get sunburn especially in ears and noses with less fur when they are highly exposed to the sun for a longer period. This can cause sores, blistering, and even skin cancer due to long-term exposure. So it is imperative to protect your dog from sunburn. To do this, you can choose from a plethora of sun protection products for pets exclusively from various pet stores and online. Also, you should not shave your dog’s coat completely to make him feel breezy. This is because; the coat protects the dog from the sun's direct UV rays and prevents burns. Instead, focus on grooming them well and keeping them in a breezy environment at all times.

6.      Avoid the Dog House

Most dog houses only have one door and no other ventilation system in them. So it can be very hot in summer days due to lack of airflow. Therefore, it’s best to keep your dog somewhere indoors instead of his dog house.

7.      Do Not Leave Dogs in a Parked Car

If you take your dog on a road-trip or even for a ride-along do not live him in the car. It not only triggers fear and anxiety within them but it can also be very claustrophobic and harmful for his body. The temperature inside a car can rise very quickly even if the windows are cracked and it can potentially be very dangerous for your dog.

Heatstroke Signs in Dogs

Here are some signs you should be on the lookout for that will help you distinguish between discomfort and a heat stroke –

Signs of discomfort due to excessive heat –

●       Panting heavily often

●       Trouble standing up and wobbling

●       Red gums that appear brighter than usual

●       Dribbling

Signs of heatstroke –

●       Staying in a depressed state

●       Seizures

●       Staggering

●       Raised temperature

●       Shaky muscles

●       Excessive breathing and panting 

●       Vomiting or diarrhea

●       Fatigue

●       Disorientation

Call your veterinarian immediately if you notice these signs and put your dog in a cool aired place. Try to cool him down by making him drink cold water or chewing on ice chips but do not push him to drink if he doesn’t want to. Additionally, you can wrap wet towels all around him and use a fan as well if needed. However, you should remember that a common mistake is to try to cool him down too rapidly as it may trigger a shock.

Conclusion

The above tips are just a few facts and ideas you can experiment on and tweak into your methods according to your own dog's preferences and comforts. If you have more confusion please do not forget to contact your vet to have a fun and safe summer with your furry friend.

Author Bio

Priotosh is a frequent traveler, vlogger and multilingual lawyer. Even though English is his first language, he spent the better part of his college days in Spain. That’s when he realized there’s more to see than just his own city. Since then, he has been practicing law, and every chance he gets, he leaves his city to go to places. And he never forgets to film those for his vlog channel. He enjoys social media, walking, gardening and dogs.

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