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How To Keep Dogs Cool In Summer

by Crystal Moore on July 25, 2022

Summer is about spending time outside or even cooling down inside the house. Usually, more activities are available in the summer, and it is typically when we spend a little extra time outside with our dogs. Visits to the beach, getting a pupsicle, having a delicious BBQ in the garden, exploring dog walking trails outside of where you live and more! With all the excitement and joy of spending time in the sun, there is the danger that your dog can overheat or be dehydrated.


1) How To Cool A Dog Down

Provide plenty of drinking water

Besides releasing heat from their paws, nose and through panting, dogs also need water to help cool themselves down. It is essential always to provide plenty of drinking water no matter the weather.

Ensuring your dog always has a full bowl of clean water decreases the chances of your dog getting dehydrated or overheating. It is especially important in warmer weather as dehydration can lead to more severe conditions.

If you are out for a walk, make sure you have a bottle of water and a bowl your dog can drink from so that you are prepared if your dog starts to get dehydrated.


Pupsicles

Pupsicles can be made in many ways. They can have lots of ingredients or just 2! To keep it as quick and straightforward as possible:

 

  1. Get one of Skipper's Short Fish Skin Twists and place it into an ice tray or ice lolly mould.
  2. Fill the icetray or ice lolly mould with water and place it in the freezer.
  3. Depending on the amount of water used, it can take a few hours to at least 8 hours for the pupsicles to freeze.
  4. Once fully frozen, feed the pupsicle to your dog!

The advantages of the pupsicles are that they are made from only water and dried Cod Skin. But, most importantly, your dog will get the cold and cooling feeling of the ice and the deliciously healthy taste from the Fish Skin Twist!


Paddling pools for dogs

Paddling pools are not only great to help with cooling your dog down, but they also help your dog develop their love of water. Another benefit of paddling pools is they are another way to keep your dog happy and entertained.

There are many different types of paddling pools, inflatable, foldable, and hard.

Inflatable paddling pools run the risk of your dog's nails or teeth piercing the material. Foldable paddling pools are convenient in the way that they can be easily stored away without taking up much room. Hard paddling pools are usually made of plastic and can easily be cleaned and used. However, this can take a lot of storage space up.


Shade

When outside, try to provide shade for your dog wherever possible. If you are going on a walk, plan ahead so your dog can walk under trees for shade, etc. If you're visiting the park, there should be many trees that your dog can relax under. If you are in your garden and there is no shade, ensure your dog has easy access to go inside the house or, if your garden is big enough, put up a canopy, gazebo or something that can create shade in the garden.


2) Walking Your Dog In Summer

Not checking the pavement

Not checking the heat of the pavement is the first mistake a dog owner can make. Taking your dog on a walk is part of your daily routine, and your dog needs to exercise and release energy to help keep them happy and healthy.

If the weather is on the warmer side, it is recommended to keep the back of your hand on the tarmac for seven seconds. If you cannot keep the back of your hand on the tarmac for that long, it is too hot to walk your dog. Please note that placing the back of your hand on the pavement for 7 seconds is guidance as each dog's heat tolerance is different. Some dogs may be able to handle more hot temperatures than other dogs.

Finally, we highly recommend always bringing a bottle of water and a bowl on your walk.


When to walk your dog in summer?

The most appropriate time to walk your dog and avoid overheating is in the morning and evening. These are the preferrable timeframes since the temperatures are cooler at this time of day.

Walking your dog at these times decreases the risk of your dog having a heatstroke.

3) Sunburns

Some dog owners might not know this, but dogs can get sunburnt! The most vulnerable places your dog can get sunburnt are their ears, nose, stomach, back and the tip of their tail. Similar to humans, the signs your dog has a sunburn is the affected area of skin is red and tender to the touch. The most effective way to prevent your dog from getting sunburnt is to apply dog-friendly sunscreen to the most vulnerable places first and then the rest of their body for complete protection. Dogs with lighter fur and thinning hair are more likely to get sunburn. In the worst case, sunburn can cause your dog to get skin damage, which can lead to skin cancer.

Finally, when you do not have sunscreen to hand, keep your dog under the shade and out of the sun as much as possible.


Leaving Dogs In Cars

This point is crucial as some dog owners can often overlook it. Leaving your dog in the car on a warm sunny day is dangerous, even if you are going to be 'quick'. If your dog's body temperature increases by 2 degrees Celcius, your dog is at risk of having a heat stroke.

It only takes 20 minutes and possibly even less for the worst-case scenario to happen. The topic of a dog's death certainly isn't pleasant; however, it is a very serious topic. Please see the chart below for a visual representation and simplified explanation regarding the temperature changes inside a car.

Temperature Outside ℃ Temperature Inside ℃
10 mins 30 mins
21 ℃ 32 ℃ 40 ℃
24 ℃ 34 ℃ 43 ℃
27 ℃ 37 ℃ 46 ℃
32 ℃ 43 ℃ 51 ℃

As you can see from the chart, even 10 minutes has a scary jump of 10 degrees Celcius. A 'quick' trip into a shop can easily be turned into 10 minutes if the person isn't careful.

Heatstroke In Dogs

Signs of heatstroke

Not knowing the signs of heatstroke is dangerous, especially in hot weather. Although we all know our dogs inside and out, some of us can mistake signs of heatstroke for something else.

Please look at the image below to read the signs of heatstroke:


How to aid your dog with heatstroke signs

Just as important as knowing the heatstroke signs, you need to know how to aid your dog when these signs appear.

  1. 1. Move your dog somewhere cool, and this can be in some shade or inside the house.
  2. 2. Offer your dog a small amount of lukewarm water. If the water is too cold, it can cause your dog's vessels at the skin surface to tighten. Therefore, this makes it more difficult for heat to leave your dog's body.
  3. 3. Soak your dog's coat with lukewarm running water; again, never use cold water to soak your dog.
  4. 4. Place your dog in some breeze. The breeze can be from an electric fan.
  5. 5. Contact your vet or out-of-hours vets.

Remembering these points is crucial to decrease the chances of something happening to your dog and to keep your dog as safe as possible in the hot weather. We are sure you don't want your dog to experience any discomfort in the summer.

2 comments
by Crystal on August 05, 2022

Hi Barry!

Thank you very much for your comment! It is amazing to hear that you were a military dog handler, we greatly appreciate your input!

The plastic spray bottle sounds like a great idea!

Regarding the pavement, apologies as the back of the hand is what we had meant, as shown by our photo. I have updated the blog to ensure this is clear and stop any further confusion. Thank you very much for pointing this out to us!

I did not know the fact about producing more ear wax when hot. This is very interesting and definitely should be known by all dog owners to prevent ear infections, etc.

Again, thank you very much for sharing this with us all!

Kind regards,
Crystal

by Barry O’Connell on August 05, 2022

I was a military dog handler, I have a assistance dog now, and I do what was taught ,carry a plastic spray bottle , push the nozzle on spray I put the bottle in the fridge overnight. That was every so often spray body head and pads under the paws.
One other tip, test the pavement with the back of your hand, why not the palm ?Because the skin on the palm is thicker can give false reading, plus unhygienic 🫢hold seven seconds. I wipe inside their ears gently more so flatties, spaniels flappy ears produce more ear wax when hot. Spray their crutch as well.

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