Ten tips for cooling down your dog in hot weather
HOT DOG ALERT
With these tips you'll be able to keep your buddy cool!
Summer at last! Time to enjoy the sunshine but make sure to keep your bestie cool, because, when he is exposed to high temperatures for any extended period of time, he may become dehydrated, get diarrhoea, or worse still... die.
Especially breeds with short snouts, like bulldogs and pugs are extremely sensitive to hot weather. But older dogs and dogs with heart or respiratory conditions or dogs that are overweight also find hot weather really hard to cope with.
With these ten tips, you’ll be able to keep your buddy cool!
1. Provide shade
Make sure that your dog can always hide in the shade when out in the garden or if you take him to a terrace of the beach. A cool tiled floor allows you dog to regulate his body temperature through his skin.
2. Don’t take him for walks during the hottest part of the day
Avoid the (after)noon sun. Walk him early in the morning or late in the evening. If you do have to walk him at the hottest time of the day, take it easy. Don’t throw a ball around and don’t allow him to romp around with other dogs because, in his enthusiasm, your buddy won’t feel the heat and can easily overheat. Cycling in hot weather (> 20 degrees) isn’t a great idea either.
3. Protect his paw pads
Tarmac of beach sand can get very hot. To be on the safe side, check it out for yourself. Even though your dog has protective paw pads, he can easily end up with blisters when walking across hot asphalt, especially if he has been running alongside you on the bike. Walk him across grass or in the shade instead.
4. Make sure he has fresh drinking water
Your dog sweats through his tongue. By panting, your dog evaporates moisture, which cools him down. On hot days he will also drink more than usually. So, make sure to bring some water along when you take him for a walk. These days, you can get these really clever bottles with a drinking bowl attached.
Mind! Don’t allow your dog to drink too much water either and don’t give him water that is too cold, or he’ll end with a pain in his stomach. Don’t allow him to drink from stagnant water as that turns into a breeding ground for bacteria on hot days.
5. Give him a refreshing shower or let him have a plunge
We all love a plunge in the pool or sea when the weather gets hot. Many dogs love it too! Do check whether the swimming water is safe. In hot summers, blue-green algae pose a real problem. Your local town will have a list of the places where it is safe to swim.
Playing with the garden hose is also something many dogs enjoy. That way your dog will be able to get rid of his energy and keep cool at the same time. It’s called killing two birds with one stone!
You can also give your dog a good wash with some fresh water! Do note, that after a wash with a regular dog shampoo it take about seven days for the skin to recover. That’s why we developed LACTANIMO SHAMPOO, a pH-neutral shampoo that does not damage your pet’s skin. It only contains mild ingredients, no sulphates and it is microbiome-friendly.
6. Cooling down dogs who don’t like swimming
Perhaps your dog isn’t all that keen on water. Not a problem, there are loads of other ways to keep him cool, like a cooling mat or bandana. We would definitely recommend them for dogs with short snouts, like bulldogs and pugs, who find it harder to cool down and are more prone to overheating. Your dog will thank you for the extra coolness.
Needless to say, cooling mats and bandanas are also suitable for dogs that love water.
7. Let the breeze in!
Air cools down as it moves. A fan can offer your dog some welcoming relief from the heat on hot days. Do make sure though that your dog cannot come into contact with the fan and that he can move away if it becomes too draughty for him.
8. NEVER EVER leave you dog in your car unattended
In cars, the temperature rises really quickly. So, leaving your dog in your car is a definite no-no, even if the sun isn’t shining and the windows are open. Never ever leave your dog in the car on his own. We cannot emphasize this enough. After all, the last thing you want to receive is the heartbreaking message that your dog has just died.
9. Doggy ice cream, but in moderation
Doggy ice cream is a thing! You can make your own doggy ice cream by freezing a little food and water in a plastic cup. Your buddy will love it! Start him on a small amount first because dogs with sensitive stomachs or bowels can develop a serious tummy ache if they are fed food that is very cold.
Is your dog a real sun worshipper? If so, remember to apply sunscreen to hairless skin, like his nose and the tips of his ears.