When temperatures heat up, it can sometimes spell trouble for our furry friends! We’ve put together 5 tips to help your dog beat the heat and stay cool during the dog days of summer.
1. Stay hydrated
Cold, fresh water is one of the most important things to keep your dog cool on a hot day. Add some ice cubes to your dog’s bowl or make a “pooch-sicle” by freezing a bowl of water for your dog to lick throughout the day. Add a few of his favourite (but safe!) chew toys or treats to the bowl before freezing to create a fun, interactive way for him to stay cool.
2. Wear “cool” clothes
Before you head outside, put a chilled damp bandana on your dog and be sure to re-wet it frequently. You can also put a cold, damp human t-shirt on your pup if he’s a larger breed, which can help keep his core body temperature down.
3. Create a “chill zone” for your dog to relax
Find a comfortable spot in your house away from any sun where your dog can rest during the hottest part of the day. Set up a gel cooling mat to draw heat away from your dog’s body or lay a damp towel on the floor to get a similar cooling effect. Add a small fan to the space and your pooch should stay cool throughout the day!
4. Have a puppy pool party!
Most dogs LOVE splashing around in a few inches of water, so grab a kiddie pool from your nearest hardware store and fill-er-up!
5. Save exercise for the coolest part of the day
If your pet needs to get out of the house to burn some energy, be sure to do it during the coolest parts of the day. Take him out in the early morning or after the sun goes down and keep your walk shorter than normal if temperatures are already above comfortable levels.
Watch for signs of heatstroke
Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke in pets, so keep a close eye on your pet during a heat wave. Some signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, have heart or respiratory disease and dogs with short snouts. Some specific breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, Shih-Tzus, bulldogs, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat and may be at higher risk.
If you suspect your pet is heat stressed or has heat stroke, we recommend that you call your Vet or take him to your nearest emergency clinic for prompt medical attention.