How to Cool Your Dog on Hot Days Using Some Clever Tips and Tricks
You may make the mistake of thinking that your dog panting is normal, sometimes it’s even cute, but excessive panting may be a dangerous precedent to a more serious problem your dog may be experiencing right now. The best way to avoid your dog from overheating is to lower their body temperature. You can even use a cooling towel to cool down your dog if you don’t have a better way. Click here for the best in-depth guide on cooling towels.
Signs to Look Out for
These are some of the things that your dog can exhibit when they start to feel the effects of heat exhaustion:
- Panting – dogs should not be panting hard for more than 10 minutes. Any longer would suggest that they’re experiencing some sort of heat exhaustion.
- Excessive drooling – dogs expel heat through panting. The humid air from their lungs takes heat away from their body. This humidity condensates on their tongue. This is what manifests as drool. Excessive drooling may suggest that your dog is putting more water into their breath in an effort to take more heat away. If you notice an unusually large amount of drool coming from your dog, take immediate action and cool down your dog.
- Lethargy – your dog may not want to move because moving generates more heat. You can differentiate if your dog is just resting or if they’re experiencing heat exhaustion by looking at their breathing pattern when they’re laying down. If they’re panting heavily and their tongues are out while they’re laying down, this may be a sign that your dog is feeling unusually warm.
- Bright red or blue gums – blood vessels in their mouth and gums may become dilated because of the warm air coming from their breath. Look for unusually bright red or blue gums on your dog.
- Vomiting – heat can upset a dog’s stomach. Vomiting, in general, is not something you want to regularly see your dog doing. If your dog starts vomiting, seek immediate veterinary help.
- Diarrhea – heat can also upset the opposite end of your dog’s digestive tract. Check their stool. If it’s watery or soft when it’s usually firm, your dog may be experiencing heat exhaustion.
- How to determine if your dog is dehydrated.
- Take a good amount of your dog’s skin in your fingers and gently pinch to raise that part of your dog’s skin.
- The longer it takes for the skin to return to its original orientation, the more dehydrated your dog may be.
- Your dog’s gums are a great indicator of their condition. If their gums turn a bright red, then your dog may be dehydrated.
If your dog starts experiencing any or a combination of these symptoms, seek help from your local veterinarian immediately.
Take to the Pool
Okay, it doesn’t have to be an actual pool. You can do this in any container big enough for your dog to get into, you can even do this in your kitchen sink. Just fill it up with some cold tap water and watch as your dog will practically dive right in. This method is really versatile and can even serve as a playdate for you and your dog. You can even wash your dog in the water using this method.
Take this time to bond with your dog. Let it be a time of relaxation and enjoyment so eventually when that dreaded bath time comes, your dog won’t see it as something to be scared of, but a time where he and his owner can enjoy themselves.
The Ice Cream Man
Dogs, too, like us enjoy a cold treat once in a while. A great tip for cooling down your dog is to make them some icy treats like popsicles or a frozen salt lick. From our own experiences, we’ve found that dogs love your standard fruit popsicle. Just make sure to check the ingredient list and make sure that none of what’s in the popsicle are toxic to your dog.
If you want, you can also make your own popsicle flavors for your dog. My personal favorite custom popsicle treat for my dogs is to just blend up or juice a large carrot, dilute it to about a liter of total liquid, add a pinch of sugar and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Whenever my pooch looks like he could use a pick-me-up, I just let him chomp on one or two every now and again.
He loves them!
Light and Breezy
Put your dog in front of a fan to help them cool down. You’d be surprised by how much this method can help cool them down. When in doubt, open a fan.
Additionally, you can place a tray of ice cubes or a frozen water bottle in front of the fan to further increase the cooling capacity of the fan.
Use a Cooling Vest
I’m sure you’ve been hearing more and more about dog cooling vests. There’s a reason why they’ve been soaring in popularity recently. They work
Make your dog wear this if you’re planning to take a walk when it’s particularly hot or humid outside. Most brands construct the vest with a reflective surface. This server 2 purposes: to reflect excess sunlight from heating up the vest, and they also serve to warn other people of your dog, preventing possible accidents from occurring.
There are a ton of models and styles to choose from, just make sure to check the sizing charts that each manufacturer has to make sure that the cooling vest you buy fits your dog.
When the forecasts say that a day would be hot and humid, you may want to cut back on the time that you normally take to walk your dog. If you spend an average of 30 minutes out, take a shortcut from your normal route to reduce the time you and your dog spend outside. This can help you and your dog not heat up too much and stay cool.