High temperatures greatly affect the welfare of dogs. Here we explain how to keep dogs cool in summer and give you some tips to prevent heat stroke in dogs.
Having a pet at home is a task that requires great responsibility. At all times, we must make sure that the animal feels comfortable and at ease. There are times of the year when this may have to be more evident. Dogs in summer, for example, need a series of cares to feel cooler.
Why is it important to keep dogs cool in the summer?
Just as humans suffer when the heat becomes suffocating, pets also have a hard time. Unfortunately, they don't have the ability to buy a fan, plug it in, and get in front of it. Nor do they have it as easy as some people to go to the beach or the pool (although there are pools for dogs).
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They can't even get fresh water to drink on their own.
All this has to be taken care of by their humans, and you should know that it is essential to take care of any detail that has to do with protecting your pet from the summer heat.
This will prevent the dog from dehydration, sunstroke, sunburn or the worst: heat stroke in dogs, which could end the life of your pet.
In addition, heat can affect your dog's appetite as well as his sleep, which can trigger other problems as well.
So you already know that it is essential to cool your dog in the summer. Let's see now how you can do it.
Tips to keep dogs cool in the summer
Here are some tips to help your dog stay as cool as possible when the weather gets hot.
Your dog should have access to clean, fresh water 24 hours a day. Ideally, if the house you live in is large, you should have several water troughs available during the summer.
These should be in the shade, and you should check regularly that they are not empty.
In addition, the water will heat up very easily, which may cause the animal to stop drinking. For this reason, you can include an ice cube in its dish, so that it dissolves and the liquid stays cooler for a longer period of time. (How to Get Your Dog to Drink More Water)
Additionally, you should remember that it is more important than ever to take a portable drinking bowl with you when you go out for a walk.
2. Keep your dog out of the sun
The dog should always have a cool place to go when it is very hot. You should take this into account, especially if it is a dog that lives outdoors.
Whenever possible, consider bringing him indoors, at least during the hottest hours of the day.
3. Keep the house Cool
When your dog is at home, don't deprive him of air conditioning or fans. It is true that, just like us, it is not convenient for them to be directly exposed to the air stream.
However, your pet will know how to place itself at the precise point where it feels comfortable with it.
4. Wet him
If it is very hot, a simple way to cool your dog in the summer is to wet your hands and rub them on his head, neck, and trunk.
If you have a terrace or garden, don't hesitate to put a small pool for him to play in and get wet if he feels like it. Or if you have a hose, you can cool him with it.
5. Summer cut
Some dogs have a lot of hair, which can make them feel hotter in summer. However, when cutting their hair, it is not necessary to shave it completely. It is best to leave about two or three centimeters of hair to protect the skin from the radiation of the sun's rays and prevent heat stroke in dogs. It is preferable to shave the hair on their belly to make them feel cooler.
Taking care of the coat in summer also involves deeper and regular brushing. This way, we will be able to remove dead hair and knots that do not allow the skin to breathe. If the dog has a lot of hair and is bathed in the sea or in a swimming pool, it is necessary to rinse it well afterward with fresh water.
6. Breathable dog beds
During the summer months, many dogs choose to sleep on the floor. This may be because the bed is too hot for them.
However, you could help him by opting for beds that help disperse heat, such as those made with breathable materials or those that are slightly raised off the ground.
7. Cooling mats
Cooling mats are also available on the market. These are a kind of small mat or thin mattress, inside which there is a cooling gel that is activated on contact with the animal's body.
They are ideal for cooling the dog in the summer but can also be used to cool the cat, for example.
In addition, they can also be a solution to put on your pet's mattress if you do not have the possibility of buying a cooler bed.
8. Doggie ice cream
Sugar, chocolate and other ingredients that are usually included in the ice creams we eat are highly harmful to our dogs. For this reason, you should not offer them to him, not even to try them.
However, you can make them some homemade ones. For example, get the molds or simply an ice cube tray and make some with unsalted chicken broth. Yes, they may not appeal to you at all, but your pet will love them.
9. Avoid the hottest hours of the day
Dogs need to go out every day to walk and relieve themselves. In summer, it is best to avoid the hottest hours of the day. The best option is to go out early in the morning and late in the day. During these outings, it is preferable that they do not do too much physical exercise and that the walks are not too long. Puppies and older dogs also need more protection from the sun.
In addition, we must be careful not to walk with the dog on pavements that are too hot since we can hurt the animal's paws. If it is very hot, we can carry water to hydrate the dog during the walk and keep it cool at all times. And before leaving the house, we should wet the head, trunk, and paws with water to reduce the body temperature.
10. Food in the cooler hours
As is often the case with many people, excessive heat can cause dogs to lose their appetite a little. Both dogs and people like to eat much more fresh food. Do not eat in abundance and do it in those hours where temperatures are milder.
As far as possible, it is necessary to adapt the meals of the animal to the coolest time of the day. In addition, it is preferable that the place where it is going to eat is also a cool space in the house away from the sun.
By following these recommendations, our dog will be able to enjoy the summer and the good temperatures. The most important recommendations are to always keep him fresh and hydrated, to take care of his feeding, and to avoid the sun, which can affect his skin. In this way, we will avoid the dog suffering a heat stroke that could put his life at risk.