Our canine friends have more trouble staying cool during the summer days than we do. They cannot cool themselves by sweating like we humans do, they might sweat a small amount through their paws and underbelly, but the main way they cool off is by panting.
Unfortunately, panting is not enough when it is extremely hot and humid. Here are some tips we dog parents can use to help our dogs to keep cool and comfortable in the hot summer months:
Cool, fresh water: the most important of all care you can provide for your furry friend is to keep him/her hydrated. Keep water bowls topped up around the home with fresh, cool water available at all times. To constantly keep fresh water outdoors, consider installing a watering system that hooks up to a faucet, these systems are usually triggered by motion or a specific action. And if you are going on a long walk or traveling by car, pack a travel dog bowl.
Shade: every dog enjoy a little sunbathing but they ultimately needs a cool, shady spot to rest. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to heat exhaustion and it can also cause sunburn (check out my blog: ‘Summer safety tips for you dog’ for more information on avoiding overheating and sunburn). Consider setting up a parasol to create a shady spot where they can relax or you can make a canopy with a thin blanket.
Cooling pads: have you notice how your dog prefer to lie on a tile or concrete floors when it is too hot out? The dog bed is nice and soft but it might be too warm for summer days. Cooling pads will not only offer the comfort and softness of a typical dog bed, it can also provide the coolness your dog craves. They are often filled with a gel-like material that draws the heat out from the dog’s body, or simply filled with water to keep the pad feeling cool. Don’t own a cooling pad? Try a wet towel and let your dog lay on it.
Frozen treats: frozen treats are a great way to keep your dog cool and comfortable during the summer days, especially if your dog is a food lover. Take advantage of it and treat your canine friend with treats that are cool and/or high in liquid content. Frozen low-sodium broth popsicles are a easy treat to make and your dog will love it! If you have a kong chew toy, you can fill it with yogurt or peanut butter and freeze it to create a delicious frozen treat. You can also try chilled cucumber for a treat that is full of water.
Cooling gear: there are so many products out there designed to cool off your fur buddy! From cooling dog vest to cooling dog collar to crate/kennel cooling fan, the possibilities are never ending! If you decide to try out one of these products, keep in mind that some work better than others, and often it really just depends on the dog, and remember that nothing can substitute fresh water and shade. Your four-legged friend should NOT go for so long without plenty of both. No matter what you do to keep your dog cool, the most wise thing you can do is to keep a close eye on him/her. And when in doubt, consult with your veterinarian.