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Safe Ways of Keeping Dogs Cool in Summer

Pet Care Tips 4 min read
Image of a black labrador retriever-looking dog playing with a tennis ball inside a pool to illustrate safe ways of keeping dogs cool in summer

Did you know there are unsafe ways of keeping dogs cool in summer? Any attempt to give your little one more comfort when it’s hot outside is very welcome, but there is such a thing as doing more harm than good when it comes to addressing heatstroke in dogs and high temperatures.

Dogs are not as efficient in naturally regulating their body temperature, so they might need your help when it’s hot outside.

Supporting your furkiddo during the summer is even more crucial if they are a frosted-faced senior. Flat-nosed breeds, such as Boxers, Bulldogs, and Pugs, or dogs with thick coats, such as Huskies or Newfoundlands, also have a higher risk of suffering heatstroke. 

However, no matter the breed, your little one might need your help when it’s hot outside. Dogs don’t sweat like humans do, which means they are not as efficient in naturally regulating their body temperature. But here are some things you should not and should do in an attempt to cool down your dog:

What NOT to do With Your Dog When It’s Hot Outside 

1. Avoid Excessive Grooming

Believe it or not, your dog’s fur coat acts as a natural cooling system when it’s really hot outside. So even though summer might be the right time to trim your long-haired dog, it is essential that you don’t remove the layers that play a crucial role in avoiding overheating. You must never shave your furkiddo down to the skin, as this can lead to discomfort and risks of sunburn or skin cancer. It might be better to leave the haircutting to a professional groomer when unsure. 

2. Don’t Let Them Drink Any Type of Water

When it’s really hot outside, we all feel thirsty, right? In fact, keeping your little one hydrated is crucial during the summer. But there are times when the wrong type of water can do more harm than good. If you live near the beach, don’t let your dog drink seawater, for example, as it can lead to dehydration. To avoid contaminated or unsafe water, it’s always best to bring your own bottle of fresh water wherever you go with your pup. 

3. Steer Clear of Unsafe Swimming Experiences 

If this is your first time taking your little one to a lake, pool, or beach, introduce them to the water slowly. Not all dogs can or like to swim, so observe your little one’s behavior in the water to avoid any concerns. If possible, use a dog life jacket and keep a close look. Also, avoid prolonged swimming in very cold water temperatures as it can lead to hypothermia. Encourage breaks from the water in the shade, and have a towel at hand to dry your little one after the dip. 

Ways of Keeping Dogs Cool in Summer Safely

An image of a dog resting inside a dog house with a bowl of water nearby represents safe ways of keeping dogs cool in summer.

1. Provide Fresh Water

Hydration is essential to prevent dehydration caused by high temperatures. So always ensure your furkiddo has easy access to a lot of fresh water. An easy way to do that is by placing different water bowls or fountains around the house. You can add some ice to the water to guarantee colder and fresher water for longer periods of time. Along with plenty of water, it’s important to ensure that your pup has a properly balanced diet. NHV Multi Essentials is packed with minerals and vitamins for extra energy, vitality, and health all year round.

2. Look for Shade and Shelter

Escaping the direct sunlight outdoors can help your little one cool and rest throughout the day. If you have a yard, you may want to have a well-ventilated doghouse, give them free access to a covered patio, and avoid encouraging playtime during the day’s peak heat. If you go out for walks, prefer to do it early in the morning and late in the afternoon, when the temperature isn’t as high. You can also protect your little one’s skin from the sun with pet-specific sunscreen and natural topical formulas like NHV Coco Furcare. This herbal spray can also help keep your little one’s skin and coat moisturized, sleek, and healthy. 

3. Offer Frozen Treats for a Fun Cool Down

Using safe ingredients to prepare frozen treats like this Peanut Butter Dog Ice Cream or Frozen Collagen Treat Recipe can help your furkiddo cool down from the inside out. Frozen lick mats or stuffed toys are also great ways to enrich your little one’s environment and keep them busy indoors since their time outside might be reduced due to the high temperature. To address possible irritation caused by the reduced walk time, you can also add NHV Lesstress to their food twice daily.

Exposure to hot weather and peak sun hours can be very uncomfortable for your little one and even cause severe reactions. Since signs of heatstroke may not immediately appear, prevention is always the best measure. Remember the safe ways of keeping dogs cool in summer that we’ve highlighted here, and steer away from the list of don’ts. If you have any questions about natural support for your little one year-round, click the button below, and we will gladly help. 

Dr. Barbara Benitez DVM, MS

Dr. Barbara Benitez DVM, MS

Dr. Barbara is a veterinarian from Brazil with a specialty in pet nutrition. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine in 2006 from the University of Uberaba. In 2010, Dr. Barbara received her Master’s of Science in Pet Nutrition from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She has over 15 years of experience in research and development in the pet food industry. When Barbara isn’t helping pet parents, you can find her spending time with her family, including her senior dog, Caze.

Published: July 27, 2023

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