How to keep your dog cool in the heat
Sadly our vets see a lot of cases of heatstroke in dogs during the summer months. Without the necessary care and precautions, it’s not uncommon for heatstroke to result in the tragic loss of a beloved pet.
It’s easily avoidable, so here are our top tips on how to keep your dog cool in the heat.
16 top tips for keeping your dog cool
- Make sure you’re prepared for the heat by buying a fan or two to keep the air circulating in your house
- Leave your windows open so that fresh air flows through your house even if there is little to no breeze leaving them closed will make the inside of your house hotter
- Avoid leaving your dog in a suntrap such as a conservatory, greenhouse or a tent
- Never leave your dog in a parked car on a hot day, not even for a minute, regardless of whether you open any windows
- Make sure they always have access to a cool shaded place
- Leave a bowl full of water out for your dog to drink from – you can add a few ice cubes, but avoid making all of the water ice cold (too cold for them to drink comfortably) – filling it with fresh cool water as often as possible is a good idea
- If you are home and out in the garden or on the patio giving your dog some ice cubes to lick, as long as they do not try and swallow them, is a great way for a dog to cool off!
- Restrict outdoor exercise, making sure they don’t play too hard and have plenty of breaks. Walk them early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day
- Always take some water for them to drink on any walks
- Avoid long car journeys where possible, but if you do take your dog, keep it cool with air-conditioning on, or keeping windows open, plenty of water and regular fresh air breaks
- Just like for us humans, putting a wet t-shirt on your dog is an ideal way of helping them cool off
- Spraying or hosing down with cool water, putting out a paddling pool for them, or if you have access to a safe pool or lake, taking them for a swim are all great ways to cool your dog down
- If you do have access to a dog-friendly pool or lake be mindful of the water temperature especially in the spring. It takes the water a lot longer to warm up than it does the surrounding air If the water is too cold it can cause your dog to become hypothermic or their stomach to knot up, so always test the water temperature yourself before allowing your dog to swimThis holds true for the garden hose as well
- Long-haired dogs are more likely to be affected by the heat than those with short hair, so it’s a good idea to get your dog a trim come the summer months
- Make sure your dog stops panting and is relaxed before getting their dinner ready – it will be better for their health if they aren’t as hot when they eat
- Make sure you have a plan in place to keep your dogs cool this summer so that disaster doesn’t strike at your house!