When the summer heat finally arrives, most of us are happy to enjoy it. But the heat can be very hard on our dogs who don’t have the capability to perspire like humans do to help cool our bodies. When you see your dog panting, that is their way to release excess heat that is trapped inside their bodies. It is much harder for a dog to cool down than it is for us.
How To Keep Your Dog Cool In Summer
- Walk your dog during the cooler part of the day. Early mornings or evenings.
- Provide plenty of cold water. Add ice cubes to bowl.
- Provide shade for your dog.
- Kiddie pool.
- Freeze treats in ice cubes.
- Cooling bed for dogs.
- Cooling vests for dogs.
Morning And Evening Walks
It is important that your dog still receives exercise, but you might have to adjust the time of day when you walk your dog. Early mornings are probably the coolest time for you to walk your dog, but waiting until close to sunset will also help with your dog not heating up as quickly.
High humidity with the heat will make it even harder on your dog. If the temperature and humidity get too bad, you might want to consider providing your dog with some indoor exercise instead.
Keep The Water Bowl Full
When the temperatures rise, your dog should drink plenty of cold water to stay hydrated. Keep the bowl full of water, and you might want add some ice cubes to your dog’s bowl. They will have fun diving in for the ice cubes, and it will help make sure they are getting all the water that they need.
Dogs Need Shade
If your dog will be outside when the sun is shining and the temperatures are warmer, make sure that your dog has some shade that they can go in. Your dog will probably already appreciate some shade when the temperatures rise above 60 degrees. Don’t base the need of shade for your dog off of how you are feeling. Dogs will be warm at much lower temperatures than we are. Keep an eye on if they are starting to pant, and either get them out of the sun, or use one of the recommended strategies to keep them cool.
Get A Kiddie Pool
Kiddie pools are great for helping dogs to cool off quickly. Make sure to get a hard plastic pool. With the inflatable pools you run the risk of your dog putting a hole in the pool, and they won’t last as long with a dog using it.
When the temperatures go up, I always have a kiddie pool filled and ready for my Golden Retriever to take a tip. As soon as we return from a walk, he promptly goes and drops himself in the pool. Your dog will cool much quicker after laying in a cool pool. They will seem almost completely rejuvenated after laying in the kiddie pool.
I recommend changing the water frequently. You will be amazed how quickly the pool gets slimy when the temperatures are warm, and I don’t know about your dog, but mine drinks from his pool while he is laying in it. Change the water every 1 to 2 days to keep it fresh and keep it cooler.
Freeze Some Treats
Take some of your dog’s smaller treats and freeze them in ice cubes. (If you can even find ice cube trays). It will be fun for your dog to try to get the treat out and it will help cool the insides of your dog.
Cooling Beds For Dogs
Have you noticed when your dog comes back from a walk on a warm day that instead of them laying on their nice soft dog bed, they decide to lay on concrete or a tile floor or any hard floor. The hard floors are cooler on their bodies than their dog bed is. There are cooling beds for dogs available that can quickly help cool your dog down and provide comfort for them.
When you are looking at cooling beds, you need to be aware that there are 3 basic types of cooling beds.
- Fills with water – there are disadvantages of leaking or becoming mildewy. This type is not recommended for dogs that chew. The average stay cool time is 4 to 6 hours.
- Pressure activated bed. This cooling bed will have a chemical gel pads inside that absorbs the heat from your dog and lowers their body temperature. These will generally stay cool for up to 3 hours, but when you dog gets off the bed, it will regenerate back to cool within 20 minutes.
- Phase changing cooling pads. These are cooling pads that are designed to stay at a specific temperature so your dog can use the bed anytime. They will keep your dog cool the longest.
The thicker the pad is, the greater the cooling effectiveness will be. Water can absorb heat relatively well, but synthetic gels have physical properties that allow them to absorb more heat, making them more effective for longer periods of time.
I have 2 great cooling beds to recommend for your dog.
Sealy Lux Quad Orthopedic Dog Bed With Cooling Gel
Sealy has been around for a long time making beds for humans, but they also make some great beds for our furry friends as well. We trust them for ourselves, and it is no different when it comes to our dogs. They have been making mattresses for over 130 years, so I believe they know what they are doing.
The Sealy Lux Dog Bed is loaded with great features. Layers 1 and 2 are a combination of memory foam and cooling energy gel to cradle all pressure points and keeping your dog cool at the same time. Under the memory foam is a layer of orthopedic foam and then a layer of high density foam on the bottom to provide a firm and sturdy support base.
- Cooling energy gel will regulate body temperature by dissipating heat away from the sleeping surface.
- Pet rest memory foam conforms to your dog’s body and adapts quickly to movement and helps increase circulation.
- Bio-Green orthopedic foam eliminates pressure points by evenly distributing your dog’s weight on the bed.
- Pro-charcoal HD foam base provides an additional layer of support and aids in absorption of odors.
- Removable cover that is machine washable.
- Hidden zippers.
- Non slip bottom
- Foam Bolster for added support of back, head or neck.
- 4 colors available: Autumn Brown, Military Green, Modern Gray and Navy.
- 5 Sizes available: Small 25″ x 20″ x 5.5″, Medium 36″ x 28″ x 7″, Large 42″ x 32″ x 8″, Extra Large 48″ x 38″ x 8″ and Jumbo 54″ x 44″ x 8″.
This bed will not only keep your dog cool, but will also keep them comfortable by offering support for dogs of all ages and sizes. It provides great comfort for dogs with arthritis, joint pain or bone problems. Here is a full review of the Sealy Orthopedic Dog Bed.
This dog bed is an all seasons dog bed, just flip the bed over for winter warmth or summer cooling.
The winter side comes with a faux sheepskin top which is perfect for the cooler months and helps your dog stay warm and comfortable.
The summer side is topped with a sturdy cotton blend cover that draws the heat away from your dog. Below the cover is Gen II Hybrid gel memory foam that will dissipate your dog’s heat.
- Waterproof liner that keeps accidents and dog slobber off of the foam.
- Removable cover that is machine washable.
- Structured reflex support foam that keeps the bed firm even for heavier dogs and keeps the bed from bottoming out.
- Egg crate foam that provides a layer of insulation so your dog stays comfortable during the winter months.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you or your dog aren’t happy with the bed, return within 60 days of purchase.
- 1 year warranty.
- Small 34″ x 22″ x 4″, Medium 48″ x 30″ x 6″ and Large 52″ x 34″ x 7″.
- Memory foam orthopedic dog bed that will support joins, bones and help with arthritis pain.
If you aren’t interested in a cooling dog bed, there is another option that costs less. It won’t provide your dog with the comfort of a bed, but it will help cool your dog down and it is less expensive. There are cooling mats that are available that can work anywhere including in your dogs crate.
Cooling will last up to 3 hours, there is no need to refrigerate or freeze and can clean easily with a damp cloth. They are non-toxic and latex free and safe for dogs and humans. Measures 35.4″ x 19.7″.
Cooling Vests For Dogs
A cooling vest for dogs is a similar concept of the cooling towels that many athletes use. First you soak the vest in cold water, wring it out and put it on your dog. A cooling vest mimics sweating across the dog’s body. As the water from the vest evaporates, it helps to move heat from the dog’s body to the environment.
These will not be as effective on humid days, since there will be less water evaporation on humid days.
My recommendation would be Ruffwear – Swamp Cooler. It contains a 3 layer construction which maximizes cooling effects.
- Wicking outer layer facilitates evaporation
- Absorbent middle layer stores water for evaporation
- Comfortable inner layer transfers cooling effect to the dog
To get the proper fitting cooling vest, measure your dog’s girth. This is the widest part around their ribs or chest.
Extra Extra Small 13″ to 17″ girth
Extra Small 17″ to 22″ girth
Small 22″ to 27″ girth
Medium 27″ to 32″ girth
Large 32″ to 36″ girth
Extra Large 36″ to 42″ girth
Make sure to recharge the cooling vest regularly by dousing it with cold water.
I know that I am always excited when the summer heat finally shows up, but I do always feel sorry for my Golden Retriever in the heat. That is why I am always trying to come up with ideas of how to keep your dog cool in the summer. They want to be included in our activities, but unless you are taking steps to help protect them from the heat, sometimes it might be best to leave them in an air-conditioned home.
There are several easy ideas within the above list that any dog owner can include to help keep your dog cooler in the summer and prevent them from getting heat stroke. You should also remember to protect your dog from getting sunburn during the summer.
Keeping your dog well groomed during the summer will also help keep your dog cooler. By removing excessive fur, they will stay cooler and when your dog’s fur is well groomed, it actually can help them stay cooler by acting as an insulator for them.
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