How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Hot Weather
June 07, 2021
The summers might be wonderful for you, but they can be brutal for your dog. This is especially true if your dog has a long coat or is overweight.
But it isn’t difficult to keep your dog cool during those hot summer days. Whether you go for a quick walk and relax in the shade with some tasty dog chews or go for a swim in a nearby pond, you can keep your dog happy while staying safe during the warm weather.
Get them some shade
First and foremost, if you plan on being outside with your dog, make sure they have some place where they can get some shade. You’ve probably seen how comfortable your dog is in your basement during the summer or on the cool kitchen tiles. These shaded areas provide them with a place to cool down when it’s exceptionally hot out.
Make sure you can find them some shade if you’ll be outside for some time. Similarly, if you can’t find any, keep searching until you do or provide them some of your own. That can include bringing an umbrella and a blanket along with you so your dog can have a cool place to relax amidst the heat.
Stay inside or think about when you go outside
Exceptionally hot days can be great for sweaty workouts, but they won’t be as pleasant for your dog. Don’t drag your dog along if you plan on roughing it in the hot weather.
Instead, let them hang out indoors. They might enjoy the time alone, so don’t feel bad and avoid the hot weather along with them.
Now, you’re still going to have to go on a walk at some point. Think about when the two of you head outside to keep them as comfortable as possible, all while allowing them to still use the bathroom and get some exercise.
The general rule of thumb for summer exercise is to work out early in the morning or late at night — when the weather is still cool. The same goes for exercising with your dog, too. While it might not be their regular hours, you can work to shift your schedule for the summer months.
Keep fresh water nearby
Headed outside for a long hike or simply hanging out by the water with your friends and dog? Make sure you have fresh water for them to drink. You might be tempted to let your dog drink from a nearby ravine or a still pond, but you should avoid that at all costs. While your dog might do it on their own, it’s not exactly healthy for them. Still water often contains microbes and bacteria that can negatively impact their gastrointestinal system.
For that reason, you should make sure to bring along a portable dog water bottle that contains fresh water. Your dog will appreciate the water on command, along with avoiding any potential stomach upset from hurriedly drinking from the lake while you’re not looking.
Give them a bath (or a misting)
Hot weather is tough on our dogs for a few reasons: Dogs don’t sweat all over like we do and their heavy coats can make it hard for them to cool down on the hottest summer days. Help them cool down by giving them a natural bath. This can include taking a dip in a nearby lake or pond or going for a brief swim together to cool down amidst the midday heat.
Moreover, you can help even if you’re relaxing in your backyard. Grab a nearby hose and mist their coat. Certain misters are designed for dogs, letting them cool down as they need it, all while giving them a fun activity.
Reach for the brush instead
Some dog owners might be compelled to give their dog an extreme haircut during the summer, whether because they think it will help them cool down or because the thinning haircut itself will look hilarious.
However, it’s best to avoid the drastic haircut, as their coat can protect them against UV rays from the sun. For some dogs, their coat can even help them stay cool. Instead, reach for a brush. That way, your dog can still keep their coat while removing any excess weight.
Give them a cool place to lie down
Along with finding your dog a suitable, shaded spot on the grass, you should give them something comfortable to lie on at the same time. Raised cots can be great for dogs because they help get them off hot surfaces on especially stifling days.
To enhance the cooling of their cot, think about placing some tubs of ice beneath them, as that will help cool down the fabric, providing them with an exceptionally cold place to relax amidst the heat. They’ll be able to enjoy their favorite jerky for dogs without uncomfortably panting throughout.
Work on their weight
If your dog has packed on some extra pounds in recent years, now might be the time to work on losing that weight. The extra weight can be tough on your dog, as it requires them to work harder than they need to. Consider putting in the work with them before summer comes so they can shed weight before the hot weather wears them out.
Not sure where to start in the process? Consult with your vet to find some healthy exercises that fit their body and breed. Furthermore, if they identify the root cause is an underlying medical condition, they can provide some remedies that should aid in their weight loss journey.