7 Ways To Keep Your Dog from Overheating This Summer

Friday, 22 June 2018

Sunny summer days and winter holidays are the best parts of the year for us, but at the same time, these are the most stressful events for our little furry companions. While there isn't too much we can do about the loud fireworks in November, helping your dog beat the summer heat shouldn't be too hard.

While overheating is rare in cats, the problem is frequent with dogs, especially those with short muzzles, obese dogs, those with breathing disorders and dogs that have been deprived of water or shade. We know how easy it is to think this could never happen to your furry best friend, but the fact is we often overestimate their ability to tolerate heat that might still be perfectly acceptable to us.

Border Collie Family

What Are the Symptoms of a Heat Stroke in a Dog?

While we hope you never have to worry about your dog being overheated, it's still good to be aware of potential symptoms that could indicate heat exhaustion. Some of the most common signs include:

  • Panting and rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Sticky gums
  • Tented skin (when lifted)
  • Excessive drooling and increased salivation

We've come up with a list of seven tips that can help you both prevent dog overheating in the first place, as well as help your canine companion in case you've already noticed any of the signs. If, however, your pet doesn't seem to be getting better and the symptoms continue in spite of following our advice, you should always take them to a vet.

1. Move the Dog to a Cooler Environment

It may seem like the most obvious solution, but often when we panic, we forget about the simplest measures we could take to make the animal feel better. When you're outdoors, especially in direct sunlight, moving the dog to a cooler environment, or even in the shade, should be the first step you take.

Golden Retriever Cooling in a Pool

2. Make Sure to Keep Your Pet Hydrated

Just as with people, hydration is crucial for keeping your dog healthy even during summer heat. This goes without saying, but make sure your pets always have access to a bowl of fresh water.

If you suspect the dog may already be suffering from heat exhaustion, offer them a drink, but don't let them drink a lot of water at once, as this could lead to vomiting, which only increases dehydration. Only offer them small amounts at once, while keeping a close eye on their behaviour.

3. Take the Dog for a Refreshing Swim

You might not have the option to do this frequently, but if possible, try taking your dog for refreshing swims during the hottest days of summer. Alternatively, if you don't live near a stream or a lake, you can simply give them a shower at home every once in a while.

Be careful with this tip if you suspect the pet is already overheated, as using very cold water can be too much of a shock, and cooling off too quickly can trigger other life-threatening conditions. You can use cool wet towels on their paws, abdomen, head and neck, or simply splash water on the dog, beginning with the head and legs, and continuing with the pads of their heat.

Dog after a Swim

4. Try to Avoid Hot Asphalt

This might be difficult if your live in the city, but even if there's no other way than to use hot pavement to take the dog for a walk, always make sure they have the option to step off onto a patch of grass. If this just isn't an option, you should consider using a protective cover or boots to protect your dog's paws.

5. DO NOT Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car

Even if you parked in the shade, or are only stepping out for a few minutes, you should never leave the dog in a parked car when it's warm outside. The temperature inside a car (which is basically a tin can), can reach over 60°C in just minutes. In spite of so much already being said about this, leaving dogs in parked cars in still the number one cause of death by overheating in dogs.

6. Restrict Exercise During the Day

While leaving dogs in cars is still the number one cause for a heat stroke, rigorous exercise in the heat of the day is a close second. We do understand that when you're dealing with a hyperactive breed that doesn't calm down on their own, restricting their favourite daily activities seems practically impossible. In this case, we recommend you take your dog for their daily exercise first thing in the morning, when it's still cool outside, or in the evening.

Border Collie Exercising

7. Give the Cooling Dog Coat a Try

If you tend to spend a lot of your time outside, and you always like to take your furry companion with you, a simple solution could be this HyperKewl Evaporative Dog Coat that can help keep your pet comfortable and cool for five to ten hours without having to be replaced. This revolutionary product is constructed from a unique fabric that absorbs and slowly releases water through evaporation, providing temperatures that are five to 12 degrees lower than the ambient temperature.

Cooling Dog Coat

Have you got any top tips for keeping your dog cool this summer? Let us know in the comments below or via our Facebook or Twitter!