The Basics: Shade and Water
Shade and water might sound like no-brainers, but they go a long way in keeping your dog cool. Always make sure your pup has access to both of these things when the temperatures start rising. Active and high-energy dogs are at particular risk of overheating or dehydrating, to having easy access to shade and plenty of water can keep them healthy and cool.
If you want to go the extra mile, consider trying one (or all!) of these tricks this summer:
- Offer your dog an ice pack or a wet towel to lay on—even better if the towel sat in the fridge for a bit.
- Add ice cubes to your dog’s water dish.
- Buy a wading pool or a kiddie pool and place it in the shade for your dog to cool off in.
- Create more shady spots using tarps, cloth, or a shade screen.
- Bring a collapsible water dish on your walks and excursions.
How to Spot Heatstroke
If you’ve ever had heatstroke, you know the symptoms, so make sure to keep an eye on your dog on particularly hot days. Watch out for these signs:
- Your dog’s temperature rises above 101.5 degrees
- You notice your dog panting rapidly and heavily
- You notice excess or thickened saliva
- Your dog seems fatigued or depressed
- Your dog has muscle tremors
- Your dog is staggering
If you notice any of these signs and suspect heatstroke, get your dog to a cool place, offer water, and call your vet. On your way to the vet’s office, you can wrap your dog in cold, wet towels to promote cooling.
How to Spot Dehydration in Dogs
Not all signs of dehydration are easy to spot, but these warning signs are a good tip-off:
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth
- Skin is slow to snap back when pinched
To make sure your dog is drinking enough water, try adding some carrot juice or chicken broth to their bowl to make it more appealing.
Some Final Cooling-Off Tips
Looking for some more ideas for keeping your dog cool? Try these!
- Replace a portion of their regular diet with canned food—its higher moisture content can help keep your dog hydrated.
- Avoid walking on hot pavement, and consider buying booties to protect your pup’s paw pads.
- Have playtimes, exercise, and walks in the early mornings or in the evenings to avoid peak sun.
- Give your dog some homemade frozen treats.
- Stick a banana or a treat covered in peanut butter in the freezer and feed it frozen.
- Add water to playtime—sprinklers and pools are a great solution!
- Brush your dog regularly instead of shaving them.
- Make sure your dog is a healthy weight—overweight dogs are more at risk for heatstroke and dehydration.
Do you have any tips for keeping your dog cool in the height of summer? Let us know!