How to keep dogs cool: Tips to keep your pup cool in sweltering heat

·4 min read

No matter the time of year, it can get hot. While humans can help themselves cool down on scorching days, our furry friends, on the other hand, cannot.

Cases of heat stroke among dogs increase during the summer months, according to vets-now.com, but it is important to keep an eye on your pet's health at all times.

Your dog deserves to be cooled down in stifling heat. Keeping dogs cool does not have to be hard with these tips.

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How to keep dogs cool in the heat

The first step to keeping your dog cool in the heat is hydration. According to pupford.com, water makes up 60% of your pup's body, so it is key to have them drink the right amount every day.

The amount of water your dog should drink depends on how much they weigh, but a rule of thumb is dogs should drink around 1 ounce of water (1/8 of a cup) per pound of body weight each day, according to PetMD.

Another way to keep dogs cool is to avoid midday heat, says Purina. According to Almanac, the middle of the day tends to be the hottest in terms of temperature, especially around 3 p.m., so it is best to keep your dog inside then. Bring play and exercise indoors at those times.

Additionally, remember to never leave your dog in a parked car, says Purina. Even if you cracked the window, and it may seem cooler outside your vehicle, cars can reach high temperatures when left in direct sunlight. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, internal temperatures of cars can go up to 131 to 172 degrees Fahrenheit, though outside temperatures are around 80 to 100 degrees. 

It is also important to have good air circulation in your home. Have air conditioners and fans to cool your space on hot days, says the American Kennel Club and Blue Cross.

It is important to keep your dog hydrated on hot days since water makes up 60% of your pup's body.
It is important to keep your dog hydrated on hot days since water makes up 60% of your pup's body.

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Does wetting a dog cool it down?

Some dogs enjoy taking a dip in the water just as much as we do. Wetting your dog is a solution to the heat, according to Blue Cross. Whether your dog is ready to jump into the water or it needs some coaxing, wetting your dog's coat can effectively cool them down.

Even if your pup just dips its paws in, the water will be absorbed, and heat will be released through its paws, says Blue Cross.

Towels wet with cool water can be used to cool off your dog, as well. Make sure not to use extremely cold water, though. Cool, wet towels can lower your dog's body temperature, says Blue Cross. But do not leave the towels on for long periods of time because they can make your pet hotter once the water is no longer cool.

Spray bottles, cool packs and ice can also be used to wet and cool down a dog, according to the AKC.

Wetting your dog is a solution to the heat, even if they just dip their toes in the water.
Wetting your dog is a solution to the heat, even if they just dip their toes in the water.

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How can you tell if a dog is overheated?

Dogs do not sweat like humans, so it is hard to exactly tell when they are getting too hot, according to the AKC.

Some signs to determine if a dog is overheated are frantic panting, extreme salivation and labored breathing, says the AKC. When a dog starts to get hot, blood will rush to the surfaces of the tongue, gums and membranes to get rid of the excess heat, according to the AKC.

If these symptoms go unnoticed, a dog's mouth will turn grayish to purple from low oxygen levels, and the dog will struggle to breathe.

When dehydration sets in, a dog's saliva will thicken, and they may vomit and/or have diarrhea, according to the AKC. In the worst case, an overheated, dehydrated dog may experience seizures, coma or death.

If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, bring them to a veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately, even if you have cooled them off, and they begin to act normally, says the AKC.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to keep dogs cool: Tips to keep your dog safe on a hot day