Health and Fitness

How To Keep Dogs Cool In Summer Heat

As a Native Texan, dealing with summer heat can BRUTAL

If you’ve ever been to Texas, this is a no brainer.

Photo by Enrique Macias on Unsplash

It’s HOT and HUMID. The air is soooo thick you can write your name in it. 

The heat isn’t that big of a deal for me because I’m used to it and I cool off quickly.

HOWEVER……

As a concerned pet parent, the heat is a SUPER BIG DEAL for my dog. The heat is way worse for him because he OVERHEATS QUICKLY and cools down SLOWLY.

Which can be terrifying because……well……my dog getting a heat stroke is not ok. And it’s really hard to watch him pant relentlessly, sometimes so frequently that he’s barely getting oxygen and his tongue turns purple. He whines and turns in every direction just to be able to breathe and he’s just completely uncomfortable. 

I couldn’t imagine him being a double coated breed or being brachycephalic (have a smushed face), otherwise he probably wouldn’t be allowed outside during the summer months PERIOD!

So, the question is, how do you keep your dog cool during the summer heat?

How do you keep them comfortable, happy, and most importantly safe too? 

Well, I’ve got answers for ya! These are the ideas I’ve come up with over the past couple of years to keep my dog safe, and hopefully, they will help your pup too! 

Cooling Mats or Blankets with ice packs 

I keep my dog’s cooling mat in the refrigerator JUST.IN.CASE. Cooling pads are super popular right now and for good reason!  They are basically filled with a gel material that keeps the pad nice and cool for your dog to lay on. Keeping they’re bellies nice and cold making it easier for them to cool down. 

Photo by Alexander Puffer on Unsplash

Or you can simply grab their favorite blanket, fill some ziploc bags with ice, and place the bags throughout the blanket. Creating a soft and cool place for your baby to snuggle in the hot heat.

Ice chest specifically for your dog

Whenever I take my dogs to the dog park, I like to pack frozen treats like carrots, apples—-pretty healthily basically. And I also keep water and ice inside. 

Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

That way they can run and play, cool off, run and have fun, take a treat, and so on and so forth. 

Grass vs Pavement 

I notice that some dogs (including my own) naturally go straight to the pavement when we’re headed on a walk. 

But when it’s too hot outside, I will purposefully walk them in grassier areas where it’s naturally cooler. 

It helps to keep their feet from burning, allows their pads to sweat, and cool off on soft dirt and blades of grass. 

My dogs on their routine walk

Ample shade 

I always scope out places before I take my dogs, ensuring there is more than enough shade. For Example, if I’m going to head outdoors, I refer to my google maps. I put it in satellite mode, look for tents/awnings/coverings–like at a dog park–or I look for tons of trees if I’m going for a hike with friends.  

It also helps to choose a walking path that naturally has more trees and happens to have more shade—-that’s a duh…but yeah. 

Frozen Kong or/and Frozen Fruit

This is a trick that my sister uses for her dogs, and it’s a great idea! She recommends filling a Kong with Peanut Butter and sticking it in the freezer overnight, and put it in the cooler for the outdoors. And if you’re having an event outdoors with your pup, this makes a great treat to pack in the freezer. 

Photo by Chris Jarvis on Unsplash

Frozen fruit is a great treat for summer too! I love to pit an apple, un-rind an orange, freeze some blueberries and bring them along for my dogs to snack on.

Water is great, but fruit is awesome because they can replenish electrolytes.

Electrolytes are vitally important for dogs in the summer heat because they can only expel heat through panting and sweating through the pads of their feet. So they definitely need extra help with depletion while hanging out in the summer heat. If you’re wondering what fruits are high in electrolytes, check out this website–just make sure that you choose fruits that are safe for your dogs to eat!

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

Sunscreen 

Contrary to popular belief, dogs can get sunburned. If you’re spending lots of time out in the sun with your short-haired dog, washing them in a shampoo beforehand with a high spf is a  great idea for pups who are prone to sunburn. Usually dogs with pink skin, a lesser amount of hair, or who have been recently shaved—-typically sunburn.  

Here’s a really great website that lists the “25 Best Dog Sunscreens of 2019

Portable air conditioner 

Portable air conditioners are a great option for small spaces that need to cool down or stay cool for at least 5-6 hours.  Like a tent at a campsite during the summer, a small rv or van, or even a small cabin the woods. 

Now a days, everyone is on the go and portability is key. Especially since we humans take our four-legged friends with us EVERYWHERE!! 

Hanging out near a lake, pond, pool

Diamond and Brisbane in the pond

I know I love hanging out at the water with my dogs! Definitely with my youngest for sure because he loves to swim and he’ll swim alongside me, and have a great time! So yeah, this one by far is my favorite way to keep my dogs cool in the summer. 

In Conclusion

Summer heat for dogs can be super intense. It’s really important to put thought into your dog’s well-being before taking them out into the summer heat for long-periods of time. Hopefully the suggestions in this article can help you during extreme heat in the summer months.

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