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15 Great Ideas To Keep Your Dog Cool In Hot Weather

Dogs are unable to speak English so they’re never actually going to shout out “Hey, can you turn the AC up!”

BUT… That doesn’t mean they don’t overheat, just like we humans do!

So if your dog is lethargic, panting and generally looking down – and it’s a stinking hot day – then it’s very possible that they are suffering in the heat.

Here are some super simple tips and ideas that you can put into play straight away to keep them cooler.

Outside the house:

1. Water

If your dog is at home then consider using a shallow water bath to keep them cool… and if you have natural water nearby, then head out for a cooling off.

Water can be a life saver for a large breed dog such as a German Shepherd or Malinois and a great source of amusement… (A word of warning though, do not leave dog near unattended pools as they can easily drown if they can’t find the way out).

2. Shade

Dogs need an area where they are out of the sun. Black dogs especially will heat up very fast if they are in direct sunlight.

3. Trees

Planting a shady tree is an excellent idea if you have a dog who is going to be around for a while. According to EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) Trees and vegetation lower surface and air temperatures greatly by providing shade and through evapotranspiration. In fact they state that shaded surfaces may be 20–45°F (11–25°C) cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials.

4. Ice cubes

Consider the use of ice to cool things down. Many dogs love chewing ice cubes, licking chicken flavoured ice blocks, eating their dinner frozen. And another use is to simply add them to your dog’s soaking area and drinking water.

5. Consider a good clip

Many dogs have their coats regularly clipped and it makes a huge difference to their core body temperature. Chat to a groomer about whether your dog could benefit from a clip.

6. Consider a good groom

By brushing your dog you can often remove much of the old coat that traps the heat close to their body. Some dogs will even shed a winter coat which needs to be removed.

7. Avoid hot ground

Many people are unaware of how hot the ground is, such as sand (where I live, we have dark sandy beaches which get so hot you could fry an egg in a few seconds!)
At your home make sure the ground your dog is lying on is not heating up too much. Even a simple wooden pallet can create good air flow under a dog to help cool them. If you are walking your dog, try find a cooler route to the destination (see sign below), carry them, or consider the use of doggy boots.

8. Breeze

Often dogs will find where the cool breeze is blowing (something we may not notice)…give them the opportunity to locate and enjoy this

9. Avoid walking in the heat of the day

There is no rule that says you must walk your dog every day. And there is a saying which goes “Mad dogs and Englishmen lie out in the midday sun” (Yes I am English and I see the funny side to this!) The point it this…do not take your dog walking in the intense heat, take them in the morning when it’s cool or wait till the evening – your dog will thank you for it!

Inside the house:

10. Use a fan

Blowing the air around can help circulate cooler air.

11. Avoid warm rooms

Consider keeping the dog in the rooms with few windows that receive direct sunlight. Often one or two rooms in a house will get all the sunlight and heat up all the other rooms. By simply closing these doors you can keep the area with your dog in much cooler.

12. Air conditioning

Well, I guess it speaks for itself. Please don’t be too tight to not share the AC with your dogs on a hot day.

13. Shade

Avoid putting your dog’s crate in the sunlight if it’s hot – you don’t want to trap them in it.

14. Ice packs

For very hot dogs especially those who struggle to breathe in the heat you could consider the use of ice packs.

15. Marble floor

Now I’m not suggesting that you replace your carpet with marble but I am pointing out that some materials inside the house will help your dog cool down… Lying on cold marble or a concrete floor is one way dogs that dogs can quickly lose heat!

Okay folks, hope that gives you some ideas to try 🙂

Everybody… Be Cool!

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~Doggy Dan 🙂

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

8 Responses

  1. Hello Dan,
    I have two more tool for people travelling in cars on hot sunny days. If you get into a traffic jam and must switch the engine off (or the AC), your dog is in danger.
    To solve this I use 2 things: First I alway have one or two 5 liters canisters (each 1.2 gallons) of water when I travel so I can wet the dog and his blanket (evaporating water absorbs heat); seccond you can buy on the internet some chemically cooling bags. When needed, just bend the bag to a right angle, something in the middle will crack and 2 chemicals will react and start absorbing heat. I recommend to keep 10-20 of these bags (they are small, efficient and cheap).
    Greating from cold Germany, Erik

    1. Hi Erik, thanks for the ideas…My dad once opened a bag that chemically created heat when you broke it open…he was very disappointed when it finally went cold an hour or so later! Now if it kept on producing heat THAT would be magic! Best wishes from a rainy Autumn day in New Zealand…Dan

  2. Well! Dan I don’t know about you but we have had a month of days over 30c and I’m sure all dog owners will be happy to read your post & pick up a few hints.
    Kind regard
    Mark M

    1. Thanks Mark.. wow that is hot…with all that experience of hot weather feel free to add any suggestions and all the best with your training 🙂 Dan

  3. Living in central Georgia, it can get 90 degrees f. with high humidity. We got a great Pyranese puppy to guard our goats and miniature schnauzers but he struggles with this summer heat. We let him out for a bit, and then he comes in to cool off. I am thinking of ways to make a cool down dog house for him so he will stay outside when he grows up to watch our animals. Also installing a small pond in the shade to train him to go there when he gets hot. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Russel, make sure to provide plenty of shade and water for your puppy and the pond is a great idea for him to hop into if he needs to cool off. Given that he is still a puppy it may just be that he is also seeking a bit of security and companionship when he comes into your home. Over time, once he gets used to his role on your property, he will likely stay out with your goats more and more. Best, Doggy Dan

  4. Hi Dan,

    I understand your recommendation to put boots on to avoid burning feet. But isn’t it true that dogs can only respirate – sweat to cool down – from their tongues and their foot pads? I see dogs out on hot days with boots and sometimes in rubber ones that don’t breathe at all. Won’t this make them more likely to overheat? It seems picking a better route or picking them up and carrying them at the hot areas would be better. Or what do you think?

    Thanks, Sydney

    1. You are right Sydney, dogs do sweat from their paws to help coll themselves down. The reason I recommended boots is that there are some dogs, assistance/service dogs, who do still have to work in hot weather and protecting them against hot pavement is important. The best way to avoid heat-stress is to not exercise dogs in the hotter parts of the day, but I still see many people doing this! I can guarantee you that our dogs would not be out exercising in the heat of their own accord. Wearing boots is ok for short periods but ultimately keeping dogs out of the heat is best! Doggy Dan

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