It’s getting hot in here! Keeping your dog cool in summer heat
Most of us love summer and, with long days enjoying the outdoors, our dogs probably do too. But during the fun in the sun, we mustn't forget some of the risks that the heat brings for our furry friends.
Whether you’re at home, out for a walk, on the beach or running errands with your pup, we have some handy advice on how to keep them cool wherever you go. Before you break a sweat, have a look through some of our guidance and best practices below!
Keeping your dog cool...
If your home has a lot of natural light and sunshine streaming in, then you may need to be more cautious during summer than those with a shadier home. Generally, you should keep your house below 80°F (or around 27°C) - anything above this will increase the health risk for your dog.
If your dog needs to be left home alone on hot and sunny days, draw some of the drapes or blinds to reduce the heat and keep dogs out of direct sunlight.
Leave windows open (but make sure they can’t jump out!) or put the air con on a low setting to keep the house cool. You can also lay out damp towels for your pup to take a cooling rest on!
Keep dogs out of rooms that get particularly hot and stuffy such as attic rooms.
In the yard
Your dog doesn’t have to stop having fun in the yard if it’s hot outside, but there are measures to help prevent them overheating.
Ensure there’s a shaded area for them to take a time out in. If you don’t have any naturally occurring shade, why not create some? Get creative! You could put a table outside, a large beach umbrella, a canopy or work with any foliage.
The addition of a paddling pool is great for your pooch to splash about in if the heat gets too much. You could also think about leaving a supply of frozen dog treats for them to snack on.
On the beach
It’s pretty hard to avoid the sun (and therefore the heat) at beaches. Luckily the sea can be a perfect place for your pup to cool off. But, out of the water, you may want a large beach umbrella for your dog to sit under, accompanied by a damp towel.
You could even pitch up a beach tent for your dog to relax in – just make sure it’s well ventilated.
If you’re headed to the beach with your fluffy friend, aim to go at times of the day when temperatures are milder.
Also try to regulate their activity. We’re by no means saying no frisbee or catch, but just try to limit it, breaking it up with water breaks to make sure your pup doesn’t overheat!
Taking your pup out
Try not to leave your dog alone when you’re taking them out – wherever that be. When it’s extra hot, you want to keep an eye on them just in case they begin to overheat. You can act quicker if you spot any signs of this (see more below).
Especially don’t leave them in the car on a hot, or even warm, day.
When your dog is accompanying you, it’s best to avoid the sun at its highest (noon) or the hottest time of day (around 3pm in the summer) and try to go to places that are dog friendly so they can stay safe, by your side.
If you’re walking around, avoid staying on surfaces that retain heat, such as concrete. Incorporate places for their paws to cool off, such as grassy areas.
Pooch practices: Staying comfortable and cool
Whether indoors, outdoors, at home or at the beach, there are some things that you should always keep in mind during the hot summer season.
Always remember water
Dogs don’t always tell us when they’re thirsty! It’s the job of pet parents to make sure they stay hydrated. Small dogs (around 10lbs) need around 1-2 8oz cups of water a day, whereas large dogs (around 40lbs) need roughly 5 8oz cups.
Always keep a bottle of water and a portable dog water bowl on you when the pup is present. Don’t wait for signs of them being thirsty, just make sure to offer them a drink roughly every hour or so.
Put yourself in their paws
If you’re feeling all hot and bothered, you dog probably is too. Dogs are at higher risk of overheating and suffering from heat stroke than we are, so the heat you’re experiencing may be even worse for them. Don’t hesitate to dash for shade when the heat gets too much.
Dogs can get sunburnt too!
Pale-colored dogs and those with finer fur are more likely to get sunburnt. Human sunblock works for pooches, so apply it liberally before the sun hits its peak – just ensure it’s non-toxic. Ears and noses are areas prone to sunburn on dogs, so prioritize these. You can always wrap them in a t-shirt or a dog hat or visor (it’s a thing!) to keep them covered during the hottest hours of the day.
Some dogs are more likely to suffer
Always be wary of your dog in the heat no matter the breed, but know that some are more likely to feel the effects than others.
Flat-faced dogs struggle because they aren’t able to take in cool air as well as their larger snouted counterparts.
Dogs with thick coats like German Shepherds, Labradors and Huskies can trap more heat, especially so if their fur is a darker color. For dogs with thick fur, you can help by brushing them regularly to keep excess fur away, but never shave them! Their fur does regulate their temperature and getting rid of it can be a further cause for heatstroke.
Overweight dogs, older dogs and puppies are also vulnerable. Puppies cannot regulate their body temperature as well as adult dogs and tend to be more energetic, so a double whammy! Try not to over-exert your dog if they fall within this category and offer them frequent shade and water.
Heatstroke: Know the signs
Even though you might be cautious during the hot weather, heatstroke can still catch pups and their parents out. It’s good to know the signs of heatstroke in dogs so you can take action quickly if your dog does get it.
The earlier you can take action with even suspected heatstroke, the better.
Keeping canine cool all summer
By following the above, you can help to keep your pup cool, calm and healthy all summer. Prep your home with resources such as frozen treats and a supply of dog-friendly towels – and maybe even pull together a portable kit for on-the-go.
If you need a way to keep your pet occupied indoors, PupPod is a pawfect play pal. PupPod will keep dogs entertained and active, while in the cool indoor shade. This reduces heat risk and gives you peace of mind that they’re staying exercised and stimulated - even through heat waves!