How to Cool Down a Dog – 10 Ways to Help Dogs Beat the Heat
Summer doesn’t technically end until September 22nd, but in Texas, summer stretches even longer. That likely explains why you are looking up how to cool down a dog.
The basic rule is, “If it hot to you, it is hot to your dog, too.” The good news is that if you want to know how to cool a dog, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the tips from veterinarians, as well as a list of cool down items that will help your four-legged family member feel comfortable even on the hottest days.
1. Never leave a dog in a car
The biggest mistake people make with dogs is leaving them in a car. People often just don’t realize how quickly the inside of a car can reach dangerous temperatures. According to Fetch by WebMD, “Even when it isn’t that hot outside, the temp can soar inside a closed car. On an 85-degree day, it can reach 102 F within 10 minutes. And that’s with a window cracked. After 30 minutes, it could be up to 120.”
2. Choose outdoor times wisely
Doctors advise humans to avoid the hottest times of the day (also when the UV rays are the strongest), which are between 10 AM and 4 PM. We should follow the same rule for our dogs. On top of the outdoor heat during these hours, the concrete will hurt their paws.
3. Look for shade
It’s also important to find places that offer shade. Trees, umbrellas, or covered chairs are good choices. However, it is important to understand that dog houses are not a good option for shade. Due to the way they are made, dog houses actually hold heat inside, which makes them dangerous for dogs on hot days.
4. Provide plenty of water
How to cool down a dog? Start by providing them cool water. Ideally, you will have a portable water dish for your dog wherever you go. But if you don’t and you notice your dog is overheating, use water to cool him down. This can be done by either spraying your dog down, immersing your dog in water, or wrapping wet towels on his or her footpads, groin area, and neck.
5. Have water fun
Speaking of water, make summer days fun and keep your dog cool by doing some fun water activities, such as going to a dog-friendly beach or splash pad. You can also just turn on your sprinklers and let your dog play in the yard.
6. Groom your dog regularly
Another way to keep your dog cool is to groom him regularly. According to Fetch by WebMD, “If your dog has long hair, get rid of any mats and tangles. It will help keep them cool. Don’t shave or clip their coat before you talk to your vet or groomer. The extra fur that keeps them warm in winter may also keep them cool in summer.”
7. Make some frozen treats
How to cool down a dog during mealtime? Offer him a dog-friendly frozen treat, such as dog ice cream, or placing ice cubes in his water bowl.
8. Stay indoors
Quite possibly the best way to keep your dog cool on hot days is to stay indoors in air conditioning. As we mentioned earlier, if it is too hot for you outdoors, it is too hot for your dog.
9. Watch for signs of heat stroke
According to PETA, “In 2019 alone, fifty-three animals endured heat–related deaths and another 126 were rescued from the heat—and those are just the ones that were reported. Most almost certainly aren’t.” Avoid this horrible scenario by knowing the symptoms of heat stroke and understanding what to do if you think your dog is suffering from it.
[Related Read: What Are the Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs?]
10. How to cool down a dog – purchase these types of items
For those of us who call Texas home, keeping our dogs cool is a year-round matter. Thankfully, there are many products available that make it even easier to keep our dogs cool and safe on the hottest days of the year, such as cooling mats, cooling vests, doggie pools, freezable chew toys, dog shoes, and portable water bowls.
Check out this list of Hot Weather Products for Dogs by AKC’s Retrievist to stock up.
Let your dog do his business outside and then beat the heat indoors. Then, let us scoop the poop so you don’t have to!