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How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Summer
A Flat Coated Retriever emerges from water, very wet and looking much cooler

How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Summer

Summer is finally here and the outdoors is great once again! The sunny, longer days provide hours of fun for both humans and canines alike. However, as the days are heating up keeping your dog, borrowed or owned, cool in the warmer weather is very important. Heat stroke, overheating and dehydration can be very common when the summer months roll around. So we have 10 ways to help your pup keep cool in the summer.

Whether you read our article on outdoor activities to do with your dog or are planning a holiday with our dog friendly holiday guide, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure their health and wellbeing while spending time in the sun this summer.

Day to day care

If you’re staying in on a hot day, ensure your pup has a room to relax and cool off in and provide them with fresh water throughout the day. You could also provide them with a fan near their bed which can help on hot nights too.

We can’t always prevent our dogs from following us around, even when we tell them to go and lay down because it’s too hot. If you want to spend time in the sun but you’re worried about your dog, provide a shady spot near you with an umbrella and maybe a paddling pool that they can dip in and out of. A paddling pool is also a great way for them to play and wear off some of their energy while waiting for their evening walk.

Even on hot days, your dog may still require their daily walk. Of course, this depends on your dog and their health but it is a good idea to keep up their routine. It is recommended to take them early in the morning before the temperature increases and in the evening when it has started to cool down again. As a general rule, if the pavement is too hot for you to put your hand on for a few seconds, it will be too hot for your dog’s paws.

A cockapoo with his tongue out on a blue sky day

Adventures away from home

If you are planning on taking a long walk or a day out that involves your dog, then you may need a little extra planning.

Whether you are enjoying a picnic in the park or exploring outdoors, you will need to look for shade for your dog so they can rest and cool off after walking or sitting in the sun. Remember to pack a water bowl and some fresh water, so you can offer them a drink every so often.

You know your dog and their health the best and will know how much they can handle. Keep an eye on them at all times to check for signs of exhaustion or heat stroke. Take breaks when you can to sit and cool down for a few minutes before carrying on with whatever activity you may be doing!

Signs of Heatstroke

  • Excessive panting and dribbling
  • Collapsing
  • Increased heart rate

Action to take

  • Cool water on coat
  • Cool place and offer water
  • Call vet

1) Always have water available

Doggy member Diesel and Lola

It may go without saying but always ensure you doggy has access to plenty of fresh and cool water. Try adding some ice cubes to their bowl for an even cooler alternative and take a portable bowl with you on walks.

2) Wet, cool towels

Doggy member Gracie

Draping a cool towel over your pooch can help bring their temperature down gradually. Focus around the neck, forelimbs and hind legs.

3) Paddling pools

Who doesn’t love a good paddling pool? Try getting your pup a shallow pool filled with cool water so they can paddle and sit in the hotter weather.

4) Cool accessories

For the summer months your doggy can benefit from cool accessories such as cooling vests, collars or mats. These are often stocked in local pet shops or online stores.

5) Cool treats

Doggy member Rufus

Humans love ice cream so why not treat your pup to a cool frozen snack. They are super simple to make at home too.

6) A cool trim

While fluffy hair is adorable, it may be best to give your pup’s coat a trim when the summer months start. This can help them keep cool in the hot weather.

7) Watch their exercise

Doggy member Eric

While our four-legged friends love a game of fetch and running around the park, too much activity on a hot day can cause your pup to overheat. Dogs are often unaware of their limits so make sure to keep a close eye on them and try walking them earlier or later on in the day when the weather is cooler.

8) Head to the shade

Doggy member Coco

On a sunny day your pup may naturally head to shady areas to try and keep cool, but it’s always best to make sure they aren’t spending too much time in the sun. When you’re home make sure they have access to the inside of your home, and if you’re worried, bring them in to help them cool down.

9) A cool breeze

Another great way to cool your pup down is by providing them with some cool air. This can be in the form of a fan, air con or even a cool breeze by a shaded window.

10) Things to avoid

In the warmer weather there are few things to avoid with your doggy.

  • Hot pavements. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dogs paws.
  • Cars. Never leave your pup in a car no matter how quick you think you may be.
  • Greenhouses and conservatories. These can get very hot even on milder days.

If you want to find out more about preventative care for heat or visiting the beach with your pooch, you can read our article on beach safety here.

We hope these tips may help your furry friends stay a little bit cooler this summer. If you have any concerns about your dog overheating or being dehydrated we always recommend calling your local vet. Premium members can also make use of our 24/7 vetline who are always happy to help and advise our members.

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