Have you ever noticed your dog looking hot and bothered on a super sunny day? Like us, dogs can feel pretty uncomfortable in the heat, and it's up to us to help them chill out.
Today, we are here with this guide to break down simple ways to keep your furry friend's body temperature cool when the weather gets too hot.
We'll talk about signs that your dog might be feeling too hot, why it's important to make sure they're drinking enough water, and lots of easy tricks to keep your dog cool during the hot summer's day when it's scorching outside.
So, let's dive in and make sure your dog stays cool and happy, no matter how hot it gets!
How to Cool Down a Dog?
Keeping your dog cool is not just a matter of comfort but also a really important aspect of their well-being, especially in hot weather.
Here is how you can keep your dog cool:
Remove them from the heat
If you see your dog getting too hot, the first thing to do is get them out of the sun immediately.
If you're at home, bring them inside and give them water in a cool spot to rest. If you and your dog are out somewhere, take them back to your car and turn on the air conditioning to help them cool down. If you have a collapsible water bowl, give them some water.
Find a cool surface
Carry your dog to a cool room where they can rest. When dogs lie down on something cool, like grass in the shade or a shaded concrete area, their body heat goes into that cool surface, helping them control their temperature.
Dogs even dig in the dirt to find cold soil to lie on during hot days. If you're inside, tile floors are great, but any cold surface away from the direct sunlight works.
Give them drinking water
Make sure to give your dog lots of fresh water to drink, as it is super important to keep the dog's temperature down. Always have fresh, cool water available for your pup by putting bowls in different spots at home.
Some dogs don't love drinking water, so having bowls inside and outside is good. Put a couple of bowls in places your dog likes to be, like the kitchen or living room. This way, they can easily drink water and stay cool wherever they are.
To make this technique even more effective, drop some ice cubes in the water to keep it cool and interesting. So, set up little hydration stations to keep your dog hydrated.
Switch on the fan
Quickly switch on a fan or air conditioner after bringing your dog inside or into the car. If those options aren't available, make your own cool breeze by gently fanning your dog's fur or blowing on them lightly.
This helps bring down their temperature and makes them feel more comfortable. Think of it like giving your pup a gentle breeze to cool them down, even if you don't have fancy equipment.
The goal is to create a soothing airflow that dissipates heat and helps your furry friend relax and beat the heat.
Place wet towels
A fantastic way to rapidly cool your dog is by placing damp towels on their neck, groin, and armpit areas. Instead of using super cold ice packs, which can shrink your dog's blood vessels and create more heat inside, it's better to go for wet towels.
This simple trick helps cool them down without any risks. Just use a wet towel. Put them in those specific areas, and watch as your dog enjoys a quick and safe cooldown, which is especially handy after hikes or on hot days. You can also use an ice pack to cool down your dog.
Take them swimming
Let your dog dip in a shallow kiddie pool outdoors to help them cool down and have some playful splashing.
Remember, it's crucial never to leave your dog alone in the pool, even if it's not filled up. If you have a larger pool or any water nearby, take your dog swimming. This is a fantastic way for both of you to stay active and beat the summer heat.
Frozen dog toys
If your dog can't get enough of toys, these icy toy suggestions will be a hit, combining playtime and staying cool in the summer. These frozen toys usually work in two ways.
Freezable Treat Toys are filled with frozen treats, and after the toys are frozen, your dog can use their tongue to enjoy them as ice treats by licking them out of the toy.
Freezable Chew Toys or Frozen dog toys usually come filled with water that is frozen. The icy toy will cool your dog as he chews.
Wet their coats
Give your dog a cooling soak using a garden hose from outside or gently pouring water over their coat in a tub. It's like a doggy spa treatment to lower their body temperature.
Ensure the water is lukewarm to cool; avoid using cold water to prevent shock. Imagine it as a refreshing shower for your furry friend, especially helpful on hot days.
Alcohol on their paw pads
Since dogs don't release their internal heat like humans sweat and release heat. Dogs release heat via their paw pads, and you can help cool them down fast by applying rubbing alcohol to your dog's paws. It works by drawing out some heat.
Remember to keep your dog's feet uncovered, letting them be exposed to cool air so they can keep releasing heat effectively.
Special cooling coats and collars for dogs are made to offer relief from the heat. These coats function by being activated with water, and as the moisture evaporates, it pulls away the heat, effectively cooling your dog's body.
Additionally, various cooling collars are available, some with self-cooling gels, while others can be filled with ice to provide a cool sensation during summer.
It's essential to read the product instructions, as some may warm up after a few hours and might not be suitable for extended wear in warmer weather.
These cooling accessories ensure your furry friend stays comfortable and refreshed in warm weather.
Usually, dogs prefer hard floors like tile or wood to release heat because they're cooler than carpets or dog beds. But laying on a hard floor for a longer period of time can be uncomfortable, especially for older dogs.
Some dogs might avoid lying on slippery floors if they have trouble walking on them, fearing they won't be able to get up again. That's where cooling mats for dogs come in as a better option.
They help your dog cool down effectively and are much comfier than a hard floor. Cooling mats can even feel like a relaxing massage to your dog, especially the ones with gentle water movement.
Plus, they encourage your dog to stay in one place so they're not constantly running around. It's a win-win for comfort and cooling down!
Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs
Dogs usually maintain a body temperature between 37-39°C, but when it rises, especially above 41°C, they may experience heatstroke.
As their temperature stays high, their tissues and organs can get damaged, and they can suffer from severe heat exhaustion.
Signs of heatstroke progress quickly and include:
- Heavy panting
- Breathing issues, especially in flat-faced dogs
- Vomiting sometimes with even blood
- Upset stomach
- Difficulty walking straight
- Having seizures
If you suspect heatstroke, contact your vet immediately while cooling your dog. Early treatment of heat stroke is crucial; 98% of dogs with mild signs of heat stress survive when seen early.
Risks of Heat Stroke in Dogs
When dogs get heatstroke, it can lead to serious problems. One issue is rhabdomyolysis, where muscles break down and can hurt the kidneys. Dogs might also have trouble with their brain and coordination, known as neurological damage. Another big problem is acute kidney injury (AKI), where the kidneys struggle to do their job properly.
Heatstroke can also cause breathing problems, called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and harm to the liver and bile ducts, known as hepato-biliary damage. Sepsis, a dangerous response to infection, and acute pancreatitis, which hurts the pancreas, can happen, too.
One of the worst complications is disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), where blood clotting goes wrong all over the dog's body.
All these complications show why it's important to prevent and quickly deal with heatstroke in dogs. If you notice any signs of your dog getting too hot, it's crucial to act fast, get them to a cooler place, and reach out to the vet to avoid these serious and harmful issues.
Today, in our guide on how to help our dogs stay cool, we've covered ways to make sure they're happy and comfy when it's hot outside. From spotting signs that our dogs might be too hot to try out different cooling tricks, our main aim has been to help dog owners keep their pets cool and safe.
We've seen that it's not just about avoiding the extreme heat but about creating a space where our dogs can rest. This could mean having cool water to drink, finding a shady spot, or letting them relax on a cooling mat.
By thinking about things like how old our dogs are and if they have any health issues, we can choose the best ways to keep dogs cool.
Taking action before our dogs get too hot is super important. Whether setting up a little pool for them to splash in, using a cooling mat for a comfy break, or making sure they always have water, these steps help keep our furry friends safe and happy in the heat.
So, as the sun shines bright, let's remember to keep your pup cool and happy.