How to Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
When the heat of summer hits, it’s natural for you and your dog to feel the stress. But if you keep your indoor-only companion locked inside all day, things get even worse. Even though dogs are generally more comfortable in hot weather than humans, that doesn’t mean they love it. Dogs—especially smaller ones—can suffer from heat stress when exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to keep your pup cool and happy this summer. Keeping them hydrated, reducing their activity level during the hottest part of the day, and providing ample shade and access to water will all help reduce their risk of overheating. Here are some tips on how you can help your dog stay as cool as possible this summer.
Keep your dog hydrated
Dogs can’t sweat like we do, so they regulate their body temperature by panting. If they can’t cool themselves effectively, they run the risk of overheating. Adding water to their diet—whether from a bowl or a wet food recipe—can help reduce that risk. To stay hydrated, your dog needs slightly more water than you do. According to the ASPCA, dogs require about 10 cups of water per day. If your dog doesn’t have access to fresh water, you can also offer them ice cubes made with water to keep them hydrated. Make sure to provide fresh water at all times to help keep your dog from becoming dehydrated.
Find shade during the day
Shade is a major part of preventing heat-related stress in dogs. By reducing the amount of direct sunlight they’re exposed to during the day, you can keep your dog much cooler. You can do this by bringing your dog’s “spot” under a covered porch or into the shade of a tree. You can even set up a small kennel in the shade. Just be sure that your dog has plenty of airflow. If you don’t have a good place for your dog to get out of the sun, consider bringing them indoors. Dogs are required to have shelter from the elements—even indoors—so you can bring them inside, even if it’s just for a few hours. You can also set up a small kennel indoors to give them a place to escape the heat.
Provide plenty of water
Keeping your dog hydrated is one thing, but finding them a constant water supply is another. If you keep your dog outdoors, you can provide a constant source of water by installing a dog watering station. If you keep your dog indoors, you’ll want to keep their water bowl full and cool. A frozen water bowl isn’t helpful in the summer, so consider keeping a bottle of water in the refrigerator and filling the bowl with that. It’s also important to check the water source from time to time. Outdoor faucets can become clogged with debris and rust, and indoor faucets can become contaminated with bacteria. Regularly clean both to prevent bacteria and other contaminants from getting into your dog’s water.
Use an air conditioner
If you’re able to, bringing in an air conditioner can be a great way to keep your dog cool. You may have to set up a kennel for your dog inside to give them a cool place to sleep, but you can keep them out of the room with the AC to help keep them as comfortable as possible. You can also set up fans to circulate the cool air around your home. However, you should be careful if you bring an air conditioner into the same room as your dog. The air conditioner may be too cold for your dog, particularly if they’re small. It may also be loud enough to disrupt your dog’s rest if they’re in the same room as it. Be careful and monitor your dog’s comfort level if you choose to bring an AC into the same room as your dog.
Don’t forget the dog-friendly sunscreen
Just as humans need to protect their skin from the sun, dogs need protection as well. Dog-safe sunscreen will protect their skin from sunburn, just like it does for humans. Look for a product that is labeled “dog-safe,” particularly if your dog is light-colored or has a lot of hair on their body. It’s also important to protect your dog’s ears from the sun. They don’t have any hair to protect them, so they’re especially susceptible to burning. Keep ears covered with a puppy ear flap or an ear band to help keep them safe.
Rotate cooling spots
Although you’ll want your dog inside or in the shade during the hottest part of the day, you can also help them stay cool by rotating their cooling spots. If you have a backyard, bring your dog out in the early morning or late evening to provide them shade during the hottest part of the day. Bring your dog back indoors to a cool room during the hottest part of the day. If you keep your dog indoors, encourage them to move around the house and be active to help them stay cool. You can also consider setting up an air vent or fan to help circulate the air around the room. Rotating cooling spots and encouraging your dog to move around the house can help keep your dog comfortable even if you don’t have access to an AC in your home.
Keeping your dog cool during the summer can be a challenge, but it’s important to do what you can to keep them healthy. Provide plenty of water and shade, and provide access to cooling spots around the house to help your dog stay comfortable. It also doesn’t hurt to have a dog-friendly sunscreen on hand just in case your dog does get sunburned. Be sure to keep your dog hydrated throughout the season and monitor their behavior. If they start to show signs of heat stress—excessive panting, restlessness, or lethargy—bring them inside or provide them with more shade. You can help keep your dog happy and healthy during the hottest months of the year if you keep these tips in mind.
Prevent your dog from experiencing heat stress, which will quickly lead to heat stroke with little to no warning.
Prepare your pooch for the warmer months and let them get instant relief from heat with the help of this Dog Cooling Mat. Whether your dog loves to stay indoors or outdoors, this cooling mat is perfect to keep them cool wherever they want to stay during summer.