Keeping your dog cool.

Tips for Keeping your Dog Cool

Posted Jul 11, 2018 in Dog Care

We know summertime is the prime time for your pup to play outside, but it’s important to provide them with plenty of drinking water and shade during those sweltering summer days. Some dog breeds can handle the heat better than others, but all dogs could use some extra TLC in the summer!

Keep your Canine Cool

  • Bring a collapsible water dish on your walks
  • Add ice cubes to their water dish
  • Let them lounge on a wet towel or ice pack
  • Hang a tarp, cloth, or shade screen outside for extra shade
  • Fill a wading pool with cool water for them to chill in
  • Avoid hot pavement and consider booties to protect their feet
  • Make them some delicious homemade frozen treats 

How Different Dog Breeds Take the Heat

Dogs with shorter coats like Beagles, Chihuahuas, and Dalmatians can handle the heat much better than those with thicker coats. Dogs that are commonly used for racing, such as Salukis and greyhounds, tend to have long noses and big lungs. This helps them stay extra cool! Bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers are far more sensitive to heat due to their shorter nasal passages. Therefore, extra care should be taken when allowing these dogs to play in the heat! Be sure to keep an eye on your elderly, obese, or diabetic pets as well, because they are very susceptible to the heat.

Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs

By using the tips listed above, you can help your pup avoid heatstroke. Even when taking preventative steps, though, heatstroke can still affect your furry friend. Be on the look-out for the following symptoms that indicate that your dog is suffering from heat-stroke:

  • A temperature above 101.5º
  • Excess salivation and thickened saliva
  • Fatigue or depression
  • Staggering
  • Rapid breathing and panting
  • Muscle tremors

If you notice these signs, contact your vet immediately and get your dog inside as soon as possible! Wrap your dog in cold, wet towels and continue checking their temperature every five minutes until their temperature is down to 103º. Avoid cooling too rapidly, or your dog may go into shock. Allow access to cool water, but don’t force them to drink water.

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Dog dehydration can look similar to dehydration in humans. Look for:

  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Depression
  • Gently pinch a fold of skin at the top of the neck. If it is slow to snap back, your dog is likely dehydrated.

If you believe your dog is dehydrated, bring them to the vet. Try offering them cool water. If they don’t drink it, add carrot juice, chicken broth, some fruit, or ice cubes to encourage them to drink it.

Should you Shave your Dog?

If your pup does have a longer, thicker coat, you may think that shaving them is in their best interest. However, this can lead to a lack of insulation and decreased sun protection. It can also lead to stunted hair regrowth, as shaving can disrupt the natural patterns of your dog’s fur.

Hot summer days shouldn’t hold your dog back too much this summer, but always proceed with caution when allowing your dog to play in the sun. Get out there and enjoy the outdoors!

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