How to Cool a Dog Down | 20 Top Tips

Did you know that temperatures over 20°C significantly increase the risk of your dog overheating? Overheating in summer is easily avoided with the right support. Our experts explore the 5 signs of heatstroke, show you how to cool a dog down in summer and, as a bonus, give you simple ways to keep your dog cool in the warmer months.

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How to cool a dog down | top tips 1 – 10

These top 10 summer tips will help you cool a dog down if you notice them getting too hot

How to cool your dog down – paddle and swim in rivers and sea or paddling pool at home
  1. Move your dog to a cooler, shaded location
  2. Give them cool water to drink
  3. Put their feet in cool water, or stand them in a paddling pool, river, or tub of water
  4. Spray your dog with cool water
  5. Create a breeze through their coat, using a fan or hairdryer on a cool setting
  6. Make sure you use cool water, as if it’s too cold on the skin, it can cause blood vessels to contract on the surface, which drives heat inwards
  7. Seek veterinary attention immediately if you believe your dog has overheated
  8. Whilst driving to the vet, make the car as cool as possible by opening windows or using air conditioning
  9. If your dog has collapsed with heatstroke and you need to urgently cool them down, wrap ice packs in cloth to prevent ice burns and place these around the groin, armpits, and side of the dog’s neck
  10. If your dog starts to shiver, remove the ice packs

A hot day to us is very hot for our dogs. Dogs are protected from the heat by their coats to an extent, however, any wise dog will rest in the shade on warmer days, it doesn’t take much for them to overheat when exercised. Keep them cool during summer you will have a much happier and healthier dog on your hands.

Advice to keep dogs cool in summer

Knowing how to avoid dogs overheating in the first place is the best way to keep them happy and healthy in summer. These 10 tips will help make sure your dog is able to regulate its temperature with your assistance and keep cool in the warmer weather.

How to keep dogs cool in summer – cool melon treats

How to keep your dog cool | top tips 11 – 20

  1. Provide plenty of cool (not cold) water
  2. Leave cool mats in shaded areas or in the house for your dog to use if they wish
  3. Pop their feet in cool water. A paddling pool placed in a shaded, breezy area of the garden is a great option
  4. Dampen their coat with cool water and let the breeze take the heat away from their body as it evaporates
  5. Have a fan in your home to keep air circulating
  6. Groom your dog regularly and help remove the undercoat with a comb. For most breeds, they begin to shed naturally in the spring
  7. Take them to places where they can paddle and swim, such as the sea, rivers or lakes
  8. Give your pooch a long-lasting antler treat for them to enjoy while they laze in the shade. These can even be chilled treats for a refreshing snack.
  9. Walk in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower
  10. If it’s too hot to safely walk your dog, it’s safest to have a relaxing day in the shade instead of risking their health

Heatstroke in dogs

While it’s fun to play outside in nice weather, dogs overheat very easily. This can even happen when it’s cloudy, so it’s essential to be mindful of how your dog reacts to the heat when you’re out and about.

Overheating can happen quickly and heatstroke can kill dogs. To keep your furry friend safe, watch out for signs of overheating and seek veterinary advice for help immediately if you are concerned.

As a rule of thumb, if you’re too warm in a jumper, your dog is likely to be overheating. Certain breeds, such as brachycephalic dogs are more likely to overheat, as well as puppies, elderly dogs, pregnant dogs and those with underlying health issues.

Many will retreat into the shade to cool down, allowing air to circulate through their coats. However, some more excitable dogs struggle to adapt their behaviour to help them stay cool. If this is the case, it is important to reduce their activity as much as possible, as overheating can occur in temperatures as low as 16°C.

5 signs that your dog is overheating

Spotting the signs of a dog overheating is vital and even potentially lifesaving, allowing you to seek veterinary help urgently. The most common signs of a dog overheating include:

  1. Excessive panting and drooling. When your dog pants, they are either hot, overexcited, or stressed
  2. Disorientation. Some dogs will become unsteady on their feet when they are overheating
  3. Vomiting and diarrhoea. These are common symptoms of overheating in dogs. They also make overheating worse, as they cause dogs to become quickly dehydrated
  4. Bright red or blue gums. Dogs’ gums can change colour due to lack of oxygen
  5. Collapse or seizure. In the most serious cases, dogs may collapse or have a seizure due to overheating

Please share this post

Now you know how to cool a dog down and the signs of heatstroke, please share this important information with your friends and family.

Remember, if the weather feels hot to humans, you can guarantee it feels hotter for our dogs. While dogs are protected from the heat by their coats to an extent, it doesn’t take much for them to overheat when exercised. This is why any wise dog will rest in the shade in warmer weather.

By keeping dogs cool during summer, you can protect their wellbeing while keeping them happy and healthy as the weather warms up. Heatstroke kills dogs. Overheating happens rapidly. Keep your best friend safe. If you are worried your dog is overheating, please phone your vet for advice and help immediately.

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