UK weather is known for the rain, and cold but there are shifts, and periods of heat occur, so dog owners should know how to keep a dog cool. Dogs have a different time dealing with heat and they will need some help.
As we get ready to bask in the sun and work on our tan we need to prepare our pooches as well. It’s important to be aware of how hot would be too hot for dogs and make a plan for walking and caring for dogs accordingly.
Can a dog get heatstroke?
Dogs can not only have heatstrokes but it can be quite deadly for them. Dogs have a way to cool off by panting and releasing moisture to do so. Sweat is not a big part of dogs’ physiology, because they only sweat around paw pads and nose. This is not enough to help dogs cool off.
It also doesn’t help that most dogs have fur coats. It is thus very easy for dogs to have a heatstroke.
Signs of heatstroke
- Panting excessively
- Drooling more than usual
How to keep a dog cool?
It’s not all doom and gloom and there are steps to take in order to help a dog keep cool. Most “how to keep a dog cool” tactics boil down to planning and preparation.
Plan a walking route based on the weather
You can’t just keep your dog indoors for the duration of the summer period, because it still needs to go potty. So to deal with this check the weather each day to know what temperatures you’ll be dealing with.
Take advantage of cooler periods during the day, so walk your dog earlier in the morning and later at night. This can be a little inconvenient especially because you have to wake up early and stay up late. But it’s safer this way.
Your dog might need to go at an hour when the sun is high in the sky. When it’s extremely hot, stay in the shadows, and keep walks short. You can feel the heat by placing a hand on the tarmac to see if it’s unbearable.
Use some water to splash the dog’s coat as this will offer them a buffer to cool off during walks closer to noon.
Of course, sometimes it may be safer to skip walks entirely. Just take your dog for a quick pee break close to the house or apartment complex.
How to keep a dog cool with treats?
There are some treats that can help cool down a dog in summer, and you might find yourself trying out a few. Many of these you can make yourself at home.
Frozen dog treats are a solution for many hot summer days. Your pooch will get refreshed and also have a delicious treat to boot. Doggy ice cream is a favourite for many dogs.
Some dogs really like ice cubes and it will help them cool off, just don’t feed them too many. One or two ice cubes a day should be enough. Use a frozen kong with frozen treats inside to engage your dog.
How to cool off a dog?
If you find yourself in a situation where your dog is experiencing any heatstroke symptoms, you need to act fast.
First and foremost, find shade and get your dog to settle. Try to fan your dogs with anything you can use, like a piece of paper. If you have water, douse your dog in it to try and cool him off.
Usually, dogs have less fur around their belly. You can use that to dampen their fur and coat and cool them faster.
See a vet immediately if your dog collapses because of the heat.
Let your dog in the garden
If you are lucky enough to have a garden then it will be very useful, especially if you have shade. Certain dogs like brachycephalic dogs have a very difficult time with hot weather, so they’ll enjoy the garden much more.
Make sure they have enough fresh water to drink. You should not let a dog stay in the garden all day, just enough to do their business and get fresh air.
Reduce the time spent in the car
It might sound ok and you have air conditioning but it can go bad. Taking your dog out for a walk further from home is nice, but your car will get hot standing in the parking lot.
Trying to cool it off before letting your dog back in the car will take time and your dog will be standing out in the heat. It’s not an ideal situation and your dog can still get heatstroke. It might be better to reduce the time your dog spends in the car.
Exercise and hot weather
If you have an energetic dog you might be having some problems getting them to slow down, and thus overheating. You can make use of mental exercises to tire your dog out enough that it won’t want to run around.
Try to teach your dog a new trick and dedicate a few minutes a day to training them. Reward and repeat until you have a tired dog.
Help your dog deal with the heat and make sure you are prepared for it. Have a planned route in mind to use shade and cooler periods of the day to keep a dog cool during walks.
Have enough water laid out for your dog and make use of frozen treats. This will get your dog to cool off and use some of their energy.