Keeping Dogs Cool in Summer
As we approach the summer months, in many places the heat can become unbearable. Not just for us, but also for our pets. Staying hydrated and cool during the summer can be a struggle– and for our pets, this summer struggle can be even harder. Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat, so staying cool can be a challenge. Combine that with walking barefoot on hot asphalt and you have the recipe for an overheated, tired pup. Fortunately, there are some tips for keeping dogs cool in summer, here are some ways that you can keep your dog hydrated and cool so that you can both enjoy the summer together.
How Much Water Should My Dog Drink?
If you are planning an afternoon out or a longer walk, make sure to pack plenty of water for you and your dog, and a water bowl for them to drink out of. A collapsible water bowl can fit right in your pocket and is easy to pack.
Keeping your dog hydrated may seem painfully obvious, but it is easy to forget that dogs need more water than usual during the summer. Although dogs usually only need an ounce of water per pound of their body weight per day, during the summer that can increase — especially for younger pups and females. When outside, your dog may also prefer smaller amounts of water over a longer period of time.
Schedule Walks During Cooler Times of Day
To avoid overheating, pay attention to the sun and the time of day when you are taking your walks. Just like you don’t want to be outside at noon when the sun is blazing highest, your pooch doesn’t want to be out either. Early morning and evenings are a great time to get outside for a nice long walk.
Dog Grooming For Summer
If your dog has a thicker, longer coat, regular grooming can help them tolerate the summer heat. Not only will grooming keep your dog nice and clean after they have spent afternoons romping outside, but it can help your pet regulate their temperature.
Your dog’s undercoat can provide protection against UV rays and can insulate against heat — but, if the undercoat is matted and not maintained, it cannot do its job properly. Between regular grooming, brush your dog to keep their undercoat healthy.
Cooling Activities for Dogs
During the hot summer months, even your dog’s beloved park trips can be exhausting. For some activities that will help in keeping dogs cool in summer, offer your dog a cool, wet towel to lay on or play with. Filling a kiddie pool with water for your dog is another way to perk them up. Giving your dog cold or frozen treats is another enjoyable way to combat the heat. If you live near water, find a safe dog-friendly lake or dog beach, and let your dog play in the water to cool down!
If you plan to board your pet during the summer, make sure that they are somewhere inside and are given the opportunity to play outside in a cool, shaded area. For example, pets boarded through Beautify the Beast at Fire Flake Farm get to run and play in a spring fed lake during the summer.
Summer Dog Paw Protection
The air above the pavement can be up to 10 degrees hotter than the air above the grass. If just the AIR is that much hotter, imagine how painful it would be to stand, walk and run on that pavement without any shoes.
Before exposing your pooch’s paw pads to blistering hot pavement, reach down and touch it. If it is hot enough to give you pause (or, rather, paws), it is too hot for your dog. Try to avoid pavement and take a long walk through the grass. If your dog does hurt his paws or gets a sunburn, use a protective, moisturizing dog paw balm like CBD Dog Health’s NOURISH: CBD Salve for Dogs, to help with the pain and healing.
Related: CBD Salves for Dog Skin Conditions
Know the Signs of Dog Heat Stroke
Heatstroke in a dog can look different than heatstroke in a human. A normal temperature for a dog is up to 101.5 — any higher than that is a cause for concern. If your dog is experiencing rapid breathing and panting, muscle tremors, fatigue, or excess salivation, they may be having a heat stroke. If they are staggering or seem to be acting unusual, bring them inside and call your vet.
You can cool your dog down during a heat stroke with cool water and by wrapping them with cold, wet towels. Avoid trying to drop the dog’s temperature too suddenly, as this can be dangerous. Always remember to call the vet if your dog is exhibiting these behaviors and may be overheated.
More Dog Safety Tips For Summer
-Dogs with shorter noses and long, thick coats may be less comfortable as the temperatures rise. Dogs with a shorter nose, like bulldogs or pugs, have a much smaller nasal passage which affects their ability to regulate their body temperature. Although these breeds tend to have shorter, thinner coats, they should still be monitored a little bit extra for signs of heatstroke.
–NEVER leave your dog in a hot car.
–Don’t leave your dog tied up outside in the heat.
–Use common sense. If you would overheat and become exhausted, your dog probably would too. There aren’t many humans who would want to be tied up and left outside all day, locked in a hot car, left outside with no water, and given no way to cool down.