How to Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

Summer weather has finally arrived! Whether you have a thick-coated dog or a short-coated one, your dog can be active and healthy during the summer as long as it has plenty of access to water and shade. Certain dogs are more tolerant of hotter climates, but all dogs can benefit from extra attention in the summertime.

Typically, the best breeds for the hot weather are dogs with thin, short coats. Giant breed, elderly, obese and diabetic animals are just a short list of animals that may require more attention during the summer months.

The following are some signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • Lethargy or depression
  • Rapid breathing or panting
  • Abnormal temperature
  • Staggering
  • Muscle tremors

If your dog has any of these symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian right away. You should get your dog inside and out of the sun or under nearby shade.

Tips for helping your dog stay cool:

  • Stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day, especially if you have air-conditioning.
  • When outside, provide shade or go where shade is provided (for man-made shade, you can hang a tarp or use sunscreen).
  • Provide fresh drinking water at all times. Be sure to refill bowls and buckets when necessary, as they may not stay cool for long.
  • Have water playtime with your dog, for example, a dog pool or sprinkler.
  • Keep their weight down. Overweight dogs have a harder time in the summer.
  • Refrain from excessive exercise on hot days. Again, certain dog breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke and might mind the weather more.
  • Offer ice packs for your pet to lay on.
  • Wet a towel with cool water and drape it over their back while being in the shade.
  • Ice cubes are a great way to cool your pet down, add them to the water bowl or feed as a treat.
  • Be sure to take an easy-to-carry water dish on walks with you and a water bottle full of fresh, cool water.
  • Feed canned food mixed with their regular diet as there is more water content in canned food.
  • Use booties to walk on hotter surfaces such as sand and pavement.
  • Early morning and evening walks and playtimes are best.
  • Make some homemade frozen treats for your dog. For example, soak a small portion of their food in water. Once the food is soft and has absorbed the water, fill a Kong and wrap it in tin foil. Place it in the freezer and give it once frozen.
  • Make dog-friendly ice cream.
  • Make popsicles for your dog. You can add fruit and food to the popsicles if you like. Ensure that the main ingredient is water, mix, and fill a popsicle tray to put in the freezer.
  • We hope that both you and your pet have a fun and safe summer, Stay Cool.

Written by: Shannon Knox, Clinic Manager

The Dog People