Here’s How To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
Read this before bringing your pup in the sun❗
Summer weather means all sorts of fun outdoor activities to enjoy with your dog — but all that time outdoors also means lots of sun exposure.
As a dog parent, you should remember to always make sure your pup is staying cool when it’s hot out to prevent your dog from becoming overheated or — even worse — developing heatstroke.
To learn how to keep your pet comfortable this summer, we reached out to Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in New York City, for some helpful tips on how to cool down a dog in hot weather.
Don’t exercise your dog during the hottest parts of the day
Dr. Hohenhaus recommends only exercising or walking your pup early or late in the day to make sure it’s a safe temperature out. “Heatstroke occurs most often in the afternoon,” Dr. Hohenhaus told The Dodo.
Don’t leave your dog in a hot car
Even with the windows cracked, NEVER leave your dog in a car, as it can become fatal in a matter of minutes. “In one study, a hot car was the number one cause of heatstroke,” Dr. Hohenhaus said.
Provide access to cold water
Always have plenty of cold water available for your dog. Consider choosing a water bowl designed to keep water cool, or add ice cubes to the bowl.
Provide your dog with plenty of shade
Dr. Hohenhaus suggests using either an umbrella or another covered kennel or cot (or even a tree!) to make sure your dog has access to shade whenever she feels too hot. Your dog will typically move to the shade when she needs to since her natural instincts will kick in.
Try out a cooling jacket or mat
You can also try out a cooling jacket or mat that’s designed to keep your dog from getting too hot.
Get your dog a pool
You can even consider getting your pup her very own pool to cool off in. It can also double as a fun backyard toy for the kids!
How to cool down a dog who’s getting hot
While preventative measures are your best bet to protect your dog from overheating, it’s also important to know how to cool her down if she does get too hot.
If you’ve noticed your dog is heating up from all that sunbathing — but isn’t showing signs of heatstroke (like collapsing, vomiting or incoordination) — you can use these tricks to cool her down.
*But if your dog is showing signs of heatstroke, get her to the nearest emergency vet ASAP.*
1. Use a wet towel
Get a cool, wet towel and gently use it to help cool her off, making sure to get her paws and head cool.
2. Mist her
If a sprinkler isn’t in your budget, you can always use your own garden hose to help her cool down.
3. Cool down her paws
Since your dog’s paws sweat when she gets hot, they’re also one of the first places you can focus on to help cool her down. Rub them with ice cubes, or even just dampen them with cool water, to help her feel more comfortable.
You might even notice she paws in her water bowl when she’s hot — that’s just her natural way to help cool off!
Knowing how to keep your pup cool — and knowing how to cool her down when she needs a little help — will help you make sure your dog has the happiest and safest summer.
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