Hot Dog? A Pet Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Pooch Cool in a Heatwave


by Barbara Csernai



With summer here, many pet parents are looking for ways to keep their dogs cool as temperatures rise. Dogs with thick coats are particularly susceptible to overheating. Here are some tips to help your furry friend stay comfortable during a heatwave.

Plan Walks Appropriately

When it’s hot, schedule walks during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Opt for shaded, wooded areas instead of bright, sunny spots. On particularly hot days, it might be best to skip the walk altogether.

Keep Water Handy

Always carry water for your dog when you go out. Many pet owners forget this simple but crucial step. Bring a collapsible dog bowl to make it easier for your pet to drink. Staying hydrated is essential for dogs, especially in hot weather.

Freeze Some Treats

Dogs enjoy frozen treats just like we do. You can make your own by mixing your dog’s usual food with low-sodium stock and freezing the mixture in ice cube trays. These frozen treats can help keep your dog cool and hydrated.

Protect Their Paws

Pavements and roads can become extremely hot in summer. If the ground is too hot for you to walk on with bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog. Avoid these surfaces and choose shady patches of grass instead. It’s often best to stay home until it cools down.

Stimulate Their Brains

On hot days, it may be safer to skip the walk and stay indoors. For energetic dogs, provide mental stimulation to keep them entertained. Hide low-calorie treats around the house or invest in a dog puzzle to keep them busy without overheating.

Never Leave Your Dog in a Car

Never leave your dog in the car on a hot day, even with the windows partially open. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, posing a severe risk to your pet. If you need to go somewhere where dogs aren’t allowed, leave your dog at home.

Get Your Dog a Fur Cut

During the warmer months, consider taking your dog to the groomer for a shorter fur cut. This helps them stay cooler and prevents overheating. While they might look a bit different, their comfort is what matters most.

Apply Sunscreen

You can buy pet-friendly sunscreen to protect areas where your dog’s fur is thin, like the nose and tips of the ears. This helps prevent sunburn and keeps their skin healthy.

Splash Out on a Paddling Pool

Paddling pools aren’t just for kids; they’re great for dogs too! Cold water helps prevent overheating, and your dog will enjoy playing in the water. If you don’t have a paddling pool, occasionally splash your dog with the hose to keep their fur cool.

Invest in Fans

While air conditioning is not common everywhere, fans can still help keep your home cool. Turn on the fans when temperatures rise to help your pet stay comfortable.

Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion

Watch for signs of overheating in your dog, such as excessive panting, dry gums, and unusual tiredness or confusion. In severe cases, dogs can suffer seizures due to high internal temperatures. It’s crucial to keep your dog cool and limit time spent in the sun.

By following these tips, you can help ensure your dog stays safe and comfortable during the hot summer months.

Source: Webbox