Once the weather begins to warm up its essential that you have plans in place to keep your canine friends cool and safe. Our dogs can only sweat through their paw pads, and when combined with their furry coats, overheating can happen quickly.
Some dogs have more problems than others in regulating their body temperature, and for the following guys extra care is needed:
- Flat-faced dogs. Dogs like Pugs and Pekingese often have problems breathing and when combined with hot weather they can struggle to cope
- Dogs with thick coats. Breeds such as Huskies or Chow Chows need regular grooming throughout the summer months to reduce the volume of their woolly undercoat which insulates them during the winter.
- Giant dogs. Giant breeds, including the Newfoundland and St Bernard, need careful monitoring in warmer climates. Their sheer size makes it difficult for them to cool down.
- Older dogs or dogs with health problems. With the potential strain on their bodies already, these dogs are prone to quickly overheating
Hints and Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool
- Change Your Daily Routine
Wherever possible shift exercise to cooler times of the day. If that's unavoidable, then make sure you can walk where there's plenty of shade. Do avoid walking on tarmac surfaces which can quickly heat up and burn your dog's paws.
- Set-up a Cool Zone
When it's hot outside, it's essential that all dogs have a cool and shaded area where they can escape the heat. Fans and aircon can really help or try a cool, damp towel placed on the floor for your dog to lie on.
- Provide Somewhere to Have a Paddle.
Many dogs love to play in water all year round, but in the heat of summer, being able to have a paddle can provide a welcome way to cool off. Children's paddling pools are a good option, though the hard-shell types are recommended to ensure that there are no punctures from enthusiastic claws!
Do make sure that your dog can easily get in and out of the water and always supervise to ensure that they're kept safe.
- Consider Cooling Coats
Designed with materials that help accelerate the rate of evaporation, cooling coats reduce the air temperature surrounding your dog's body. This then means that your dog's temperature also drops. All they require is to be dunked in some cold water, then wrung out and placed on your dog. The cooling effect does wear off as the coat begins to dry, so do keep checking it to make sure that it's helping your dog.
If your dog doesn't like wearing a coat, they may feel more comfortable with one of the cooling bandanas.
- Chomp down on Frozen Toys and Treats
If your dog has a favorite chew toy, place it in a zip lock bag and then leave in the freezer for a few hours. They'll love the chance to chew on something cold. Even better, invest in toys such as Kong’s which can be stuffed with treats and then frozen to create your very own K9 popsicles!
- Add Ice Cubes to Water Bowls
This is the perfect way of keeping your dog's water cool while also slowly topping up their bowl. While all dogs need continual access to water, some can gulp down fluids when they become hot. This then causes them to gag, and then vomit. Ice cubes added to the water allow your dog to get much-needed fluids but makes it difficult for them to drink too quickly. Consider getting an ice maker machine for speed and convenience.
So that’s it, my top tips for keeping your companion cool, hydrated and happy this summer!
About the Author:
Having grown up on a farm, Rachel Brown loves the outdoors and is a passionate animal enthusiast. These days, her garden is her sanctuary, where anything that can grow, does! It’s wild, yet beautiful. She documents her projects on DIY Garden, a blog with hundreds of ideas and helpful guides on how to improve your garden and outdoor space.