7 Tips to Cool Your Dog Down

Canines are much more sensitive to heat than humans and its excess can bring vital risks to them. Fortunately, these dangers can be avoided if you know how to cool your dog in the summer.
7 Tips to Cool Your Dog Down

Last update: 10 June, 2021

Heat affects dogs much more than humans. For this reason, in spring and summer, it’s normal for dogs to lose their appetite or for their rhythm to be slower. Knowing how to cool your dog down in the hottest times of the year is something that, as an owner, you should know.

In extreme cases, high temperatures can turn into heatstroke and, thus, a veterinary emergency. To avoid this extreme situation, here are 7 tips to cool your dog down. Don’t miss them.

Heat in dogs

Dogs are much more sensitive to heat than to cold, as they’re animals capable of regulating body temperature upwards when the environment is colder than normal (homeothermia). As the heat dissipation mechanisms in canids are more scarce, on hot days it’s important to help them stay cool.

According to the American Kennel Club, canines don’t perspire in the same way we do. These mammals achieve it through the pads of their paws and, additionally, regulate their temperature by panting.

The Friesian Magazine tells us that, when their body detects a rise in temperature, the respiratory rate increases, in order to cool the body with the inspired air. Blood vessels dilate to dissipate heat, and the frequency and intensity of the heartbeat are increased to maintain blood pressure.

A heat stroke begins precisely with a sudden increase in body temperature, the symptoms of which appear in the form of rapid breathing and an open mouth. According to the Affinity Foundation, the tongue of the dog at risk can turn a deep red color, it will have a tendency to vomit, it will experience tremors and even lose consciousness.

To prevent your pet from suffering from heatstroke, you must understand its physiology and needs. Follow these tips to keep your dog cool during the hottest times of the year.

A dog in summer with mosquitoes

1. Don’t cut their hair, brush it

Cutting the dog’s hair or shaving it won’t cool your dog down. In fact, the opposite happens: you’ll leave it more exposed, because the hair serves to protect the dog from the sun or insects.

When the high temperatures arrive, the dog sheds the undercoat or shedding hair on its own – which gives it warmth in winter. Brushing it is a good option to help you remove this type of fur and thus be able to cool your dog down correctly.

2. Water, the essential element to cool your dog down

Keep their drinking bowl in the shade with clean, cool water. This advice applies not only for the summer, but also for the whole year. Every pet should have a source of purified water every day, as this liquid is essential for the maintenance of life.

Every so often, make sure the bowl is full of water. In addition, you can put more than one drinker around your house, especially near the places where your dog rests. If you see that it’s very hot, you can also cool it with a sponge soaked in water on their head and torso.

3. Toys to cool your dog down

These types of toys don’t only help to cool your dog down, but they also amuse them. Within this group, we can find small pools, balls that expel water or chewy bones that are kept in the fridge to cool them down. In addition, on the market you can find other accessories, such as fresh water fountains, blankets, vests, and refreshing beds.

4. Don’t walk your dog in the hottest hours

Avoid exercising, playing, or walking with your canine from approximately 12 noon to 4 in the afternoon. On the other hand, be careful – at any time – not to muzzle them in such a way that they can’t pant. As we’ve already said, this is the main mechanism of heat dissipation in canids.

If you go out of the house with your pet at the most advisable and cooler hours, then take water with you and avoid intense exercise. If your dog likes to swim, don’t miss the opportunity, as it’s one of the few physical exercises that doesn’t report any risk of heatstroke.

Also, never leave the dog locked in the car. During the trips, make stops where you can hydrate them and check that they’re OK

5. Prepare homemade ice cream to cool your dog down

Putting ice cubes in their drinking bowl is another option. Ice is suitable for dogs, but water that’s too cold isn’t. You can also use an ice cream mold or a plastic container and freeze water with a few grains of concentrate. Dip the ice cream in water before giving it to your dog, so its tongue doesn’t get stuck.

6. Protect them from the direct sun

In addition to not going out for a walk during the hottest hours, it’s also important for your dog to have a cool, shady place where it can rest. A fan or air conditioner can also help them cope with the heat inside the house.

If your dog is out in the sun at any time, apply sunscreen to its nose, ears, tail, and other areas of the body that are hairless. This will prevent long-term burns and injuries from appearing on the dog’s body.

7. Feed them at the right time

In the heat, dogs’ appetites decrease, so feed them during the coolest times of the day, such as first thing in the morning or in the evening. You can also take advantage of this season to add water-rich fruits and vegetables to the menu.

A dog eating watermelon.

Taking care of your dog and knowing what’s best for them is very important for its well-being. Following these tips will help you and your dog have a pleasant, cool summer and to be safe from the dangers of heatstroke.

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