Tips to Protect Your Dog From Overheating This Summer
Tips to Protect Your Dog From Overheating This Summer
Keep Dogs Hydrated !
One of the most important factors in keeping dogs cool in hot weather is making sure they are hydrated. Always make sure you have an adequate amount of water readily available! When the weather gets hot and dry, it’s ideal to have a water bottle since there’s no guarantee that there will be any available water fountains when you go out. There are some awesome water bottles now that offer pup-friendly additions, such as collapsible dog water bowls like our Pets'Drink™.
How Can You Tell if a Dog Has Overheated?
To protect your dog from overheating, it’s important to know what signs to look out for. A dog might start excessively drooling or panting and become lethargic. In more serious cases, a dog might vomit, collapse, or experience a seizure so learning how to identify, prevent and protect are the key ways to keeping dogs happy and healthy when it’s hot.
Dogs, especially those with thick fur, can overheat at any time of the year, but all dogs can struggle to cool themselves down during the sweltering summer months and can be susceptible to overheating.
What dog breeds are more susceptible to heat stroke?
Helpful Hint: Pups with flat faces like pugs and bulldogs are especially prone to heatstroke because they don’t pant as efficiently as our longer-snout friends. Puppies, seniors, and pleasantly plump dogs are also at higher risk, so pay special attention to these types of dogs.
How to Cool Down a Dog:
If a dog shows any early signs of overheating, a simple solution is to move them to a shady or air conditioned area and provide them water while they rest. In 10 minutes, the panting should cease as the dog cools down.
Avoid Walks at the Hottest Time of the Day
Certain times of the day are hotter than others. This tends to be between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. Generally, it is a good idea to avoid walking dogs during the hottest parts of the day. Not only will this help prevent your dog from overheating, but it’s also a way to protect your dog’s paws from hot surfaces.
Limit Intense Activities
Keep a dog’s temperature and comfort in mind as you spend time outside during the summer. Sometimes keeping a dog cool in summer simply means staying in. If it’s a hot summer day, it’s probably not the right time to take a dog out for a run. Be realistic about what dogs will be comfortable doing outside in the heat. If they have long fur, they may never be comfortable running outside in the summer. When being active outside, lower the intensity of the activity, opt for a walk vs. a run, make sure it’s not during the hottest time of the day, and allow for lots of rest and water.
No Hot Cars
This is a fact we all know, but it never hurts to reiterate! It’s extremely vital to never leave a dog alone and unattended in a car – no matter how long! Cars absorb heat at an extremely rapid rate and can become saunas on wheels, even with the windows open or the air-conditioning on.
Invest in A Cooling Vest
If you’re outside for prolonged periods of time, we recommend checking out cooling clothes for dogs.
Protect Their Eyes from the Sun
When you head out into the sun, you might put on a pair of stylish sunglasses or a hat to protect your eyes from the bright sun. A dog may benefit from the same considerations.
While some dogs won’t wear sunglasses, you can protect a dog’s eyes and head from the sun’s rays with a special hat made for dogs. You will want to make sure that the hat fits correctly and is made for your breed of dog. Each breed has its own head shape and size, so you will want to verify that any hat will fit your dog well before you buy it. We recommend checking out our dog hats, to see if there are any summer styles you think your dog might enjoy!
Some dogs will easily adjust to wearing a hat to protect their eyes, while others will not. Start by having them wear the hat for short periods of time and offering them lots of praise, and maybe some treats while they wear it. You can increase the time once they seem more comfortable with wearing it. How long this process takes will depend on the dog.
Protect Their Skin from UV Rays
Preventing your dog from overheating is not the only thing you need to worry about in the summer. Some breeds have less fur protecting their skin and could benefit from some additional help keeping skin safe from the hot sun. While you won’t be able to put sunscreen on a dog, you can consider purchasing a dog shirt that provides SPF protection from UV rays. Make sure that the t-shirt that you choose is specifically designed for dogs to wear in hot weather. A novelty shirt or a costume will not be breathable enough to be comfortable for a dog to wear in the summer.
There are many different rash guards and breathable, lightweight t-shirts that can provide a good amount of sun protection for dogs. Just make sure to monitor to ensure that the dog remains comfortable and doesn't overheat from the extra layers. Short-haired breeds will do better with a shirt than dogs with heavy fur coats, but the preference is ultimately based on the dog’s comfort. Plenty of poodles and golden retrievers love wearing t-shirts despite having more fur than a short-haired dachshund or pit bull. It is always worth trying it out to see if they like it and if they are comfortable.