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10 Tips to Protect Your Dog From Overheating This Summer
By Canada Pooch on May 28, 2021
Summertime is around the corner. This means that it’s finally time to have some great fun in the sun with your favorite pup! Before you head to the beach or the park with your dog, remember that dogs also need to be protected from the heat; whether you use a dog cooling vest or simply avoid the hottest parts of the day. As dog parents, we know how important it is to do everything that we can to prevent overheating and to be able to identify the signs of overheating in dogs immediately. Summer means being able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Keeping dogs healthy, comfortable, and happy is the best way to make the most out of summer together!
To learn more about how to keep dogs cool in summer, here are 10 tips and tricks you can use to keep dogs cool and safe from overheating.
Monitor Your Pup – Know the Signs of Overheating
To avoid overheating, it’s important to know what signs to look out for. A dog might start excessively drooling or panting and become lethargic. In more serious cases, a dog might vomit, collapse, or experience a seizure so learning how to identify, prevent and protect are the key ways to keeping dogs happy and healthy when it’s hot.
Dogs, especially those with thick fur, can overheat at any time of the year, but all dogs can struggle to cool themselves down during the sweltering summer months and can be susceptible to overheating.
Helpful Hint: Pups with flat faces like pugs and bulldogs are especially prone to heatstroke because they don’t pant as efficiently as our longer-snout friends. Puppies, seniors, and pleasantly plump dogs are also at higher risk, so pay special attention to these types of dogs.
If a dog shows any early signs of overheating, a simple solution is to move them to a shady or air conditioned area and provide them water while they rest. In 10 minutes, the panting should cease as the dog cools down.
Keep Dogs Hydrated!
Always make sure you have an adequate amount of water readily available! When the weather gets hot and dry, it’s ideal to have a water bottle since there’s no guarantee that there will be any available water fountains when you go out. There are some awesome water bottles now that offer pup-friendly additions, such as collapsible dog water bowls.
If you find yourself without an extra dog bowl, giving them water from the palm of your hand, works great in a pinch! Did you know our Everything Fanny Pack fits a standard sized water bottle? This way you can stay hands-free and grab it from your pack when you need it!
Avoid Walks at the Hottest Time of the Day
Certain times of the day are hotter than others. This tends to be between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. Generally, it is a good idea to avoid walking dogs during the hottest parts of the day. Not only will this help prevent overheating, but it’s also a way to protect dog’s paws from hot surfaces.
Limit Intense Activities
Keep a dog’s temperature and comfort in mind as you spend time outside during the summer. If it’s a hot summer day, it’s probably not the right time to take a dog out for a run. Be realistic about what dogs will be comfortable doing outside in the heat. If they have long fur, they may never be comfortable running outside in the summer. When being active outside, lower the intensity of the activity, opt for a walk vs. a run, make sure it’s not during the hottest time of the day, and allow for lots of rest and water.
No Hot Cars
This is a fact we all know, but it never hurts to reiterate! It’s extremely vital to never leave a dog alone and unattended in a car – no matter how long! Cars absorb heat at an extremely rapid rate and can become saunas on wheels, even with the windows open or the air-conditioning on.
Invest in A Cooling Vest
If you’re outside for prolonged periods of time, we recommend checking out the Chill Seeker Cooling Vest for some protection from the heat. The Chill Seeker Cooling Vest offers a chemical-free cooling effect by slowly releasing cool water over your pups’ body. As it evaporates, it also cools the hot air around your pup and offers sun protection on your pup’s back with its full back coverage. Just soak it in water, the colder the better, then wring the water out to keep your pup cooler in the summer.
Protect Against Hot Pavement or Sand
If the ground is too hot for our feet, it’s too hot for dog’s paws! Hot Pavement Boots offer some great protection from the hot ground through the summer. Just like an oven mitt, no intense heat will pass through these rubber sole booties.
Helpful Hint: Did you know that pavement is on average twice as hot as the air temperature? A great way to check the pavement temperature is to place the back of your hand on the pavement for 7 seconds. If it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for their paws!
Keep in mind that you never want to put too many layers on a dog in the hot months, as this can also make them too hot. We recommend using Hot Pavement Boots when necessary. If you’re on grass or a surface that doesn’t retain heat, you can take the boots off and allow your dog to walk freely without fear of them burning their paws.
Protect Their Eyes from the Sun
When you head out into the sun, you might put on a pair of stylish sunglasses or a hat to protect your eyes from the bright sun. A dog may benefit from the same considerations.
While some dogs won’t wear sunglasses, you can protect a dog’s eyes and head from the sun’s rays with a special hat made for dogs. You will want to make sure that the hat fits correctly and is made for your breed of dog. Each breed has its own head shape and size, so you will want to verify that any hat will fit your dog well before you buy it. We recommend checking out our dog hats, to see if there are any summer styles you think your dog might enjoy!
Some dogs will easily adjust to wearing a hat to protect their eyes, while others will not. Start by having them wear the hat for short periods of time and offering them lots of praise, and maybe some treats while they wear it. You can increase the time once they seem more comfortable with wearing it. How long this process takes will depend on the dog.
Protect Their Skin from UV Rays
Some breeds have less fur protecting their skin and could benefit from some additional help keeping skin safe from the hot sun. While you won’t be able to put sunscreen on a dog, you can consider purchasing a dog shirt that provides SPF protection from UV rays. Make sure that the t-shirt that you choose is specifically designed for dogs to wear in hot weather. A novelty shirt or a costume will not be breathable enough to be comfortable for a dog to wear in the summer.
There are many different rash guards and breathable, lightweight t-shirts that can provide a good amount of sun protection for dogs. Just make sure to monitor to ensure that the dog remains comfortable and doesn't overheat from the extra layers. Short-haired breeds will do better with a shirt than dogs with heavy fur coats, but the preference is ultimately based on the dog’s comfort. Plenty of poodles and golden retrievers love wearing t-shirts despite having more fur than a short-haired dachshund or pit bull. It is always worth trying it out to see if they like it and if they are comfortable.
Pool Party, Anyone?
Many dogs love to cool off in the water, whether in the lake, sprinkler, or kiddie pool. The water can quickly cool off your dog in a matter of seconds. Some dogs love swimming right away, while others need a slow adjustment period where they can test out the water and get used to it. No matter what, always make sure dogs are comfortable before going in the water, especially as it might make them hesitant to get back into the water in the future.
Many dog parks have water features where dogs can play with other pups on a hot day. There are even dog-friendly beaches that are perfect for days spent together splashing around. Just remember to continue to offer your dog water to drink, as playing in the water isn’t the same thing as staying properly hydrated.
It is extremely important to keep dogs cool throughout the summer. If you feel that it’s a hot day, a dog probably feels the same way. By understanding the signs of overheating and dehydration, you can quickly give your dog what’s needed to stay safe and comfortable. Whether you want to offer some extra water or buy a cute cooling jacket for your dog, there are many different ways that you can use to identify, protect and prevent overheating. Now you can beat the heat and enjoy every day and outdoor adventure safely with your favorite companion: your dog.