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Just like for humans, summer days get hot for fur babies. Heat can even be dangerous! So here are some tips for dog owners to cool your dog down during summer.
Heat stroke is a dangerous condition requiring medical care. When your dog’s internal body temperature gets over 104℉, neurological problems, kidney failure and even death can occur!
There are clues that your dog is overheating, such as heavy panting and lethargy. At these early signs, it’s time to take action!
If your dog is experiencing heat stroke you might also observe:
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, get immediate veterinary care.
In order to prevent heat stroke, remember to never leave a dog in a parked car. Overheating can occur quickly even when it doesn’t seem very hot outside! Sunlight goes into windows and doesn’t escape, heating up your car like a microwave.
If it is really hot outside, remember to keep your dog indoors. Even an “outdoor dog” might need to come inside for the summer, depending on where you live, outdoor temperatures, and type of fur. Dogs with heavy fur or double coats get more easily overheated.
In this article, we’ll take a quick look at how to cool your dog down, preventing heat stroke before it begins.
Some of the most successful ways to cool a dog in summer start with the inside--a cooler stomach equals a cooled-off dog.
Start with cold water: Keep an eye on metal bowls, which can easily heat up in summer. Add ice cubes to water. You might even consider getting a freezable or cooling dog bowl, particularly if you live in a warmer climate.
Always have water available! If you take your dog on a trip, bring a collapsible bowl for water.
Next, consider cold treats: you can freeze dog-friendly treats, such as chopped up bananas, sweet potato or frozen peas. There are also freezable dog toys. But never use baby freezable toys for a dog. Toys made for babies are not designed to withstand dog teeth and jaws.
Lots of dogs will love a cold pack! You can use a cold pack, like the type made for a cooler or injury reusable cold pack. You can freeze a water bottle--just remember to let out a little water, since water expands when it freezes! Even a bag of frozen peas will do.
Just keep an eye on your chewer--ice pack contents are dangerous for dogs!
Other tips for external cooling include:
Keep in mind that dog’s naturally want to lay on a cooler spot on a hot day. This might be why dogs dig holes on hot days--the earth is cooler just below the surface! Because cooling their underside on a cool spot is natural, it works super well.
Over time, however, laying on a cool spot can heat that spot up, just from your dog’s own warm body temperature. So for a dog who gets really warm, consider purchasing a cooling pad or cooling mat.
Another advantage of a cooling pad is that it can be put in your dog’s crate at night, for your crate sleeper. Small spaces, like crates, heat up easily, so a cooling pad can help your favorite fur baby stay cool even in their little cave-like home.
Some of these cooling methods discussed so far, like a damp towel or a wet bandana, involve getting your dog wet. Does getting your dog wet cool them down?
Well, potentially yes--but beware of wet hot fur!
Dogs with really heavy coats trap heat against the body. When that fur gets wet, it may trap heat even more! You can avoid this trapped heat effect, though, by using water in these ways:
After this hose down, be sure to keep your dog out of the sun to prevent further overheating.
Keep your bad dog cool and calm this summer.
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