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How to Protect Your Dog from the Heat and Sun

Our furry friends may not be able to cope with the summer’s heat and sun as well as we can. Check out these 12 tips for keeping your canine cool in the summer.

How to Protect Your Dog from the Heat and Sun

As the summer months approach, it is important to remember that our furry companions are just as susceptible to the effects of extreme heat as we are. Dogs can easily become dehydrated, overheat, and even suffer heatstroke if not properly protected from the elements. Pet owners must take necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of their four-legged friends during the hot summer months.

Dog overheating symptoms

It is vital to pay attention to your dog's behavior in the heat. Watch your pooch for signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke:

  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Excessive panting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Very red gums or tongue

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, move them to a cooler area immediately, offer them cool water, and contact your veterinarian.

Can dogs get a sunburn? 

Yes, they can! Don't forget to protect your dog from the sun. Just like humans, dogs can get sunburn and develop skin cancer. If your dog has light-colored fur or exposed skin (white or pink nose), consider applying pet-safe sunscreen to protect them from the sun's harmful rays.

Seven tips to prevent overheating in dogs

Summer is here! While we might love the idea of suntans and swimming pools, some of our furry friends may not be able to cope with the heat as well as we do. Here are seven tips on how to keep a dog cool outside.

1. Never leave your pets in a parked car

One of the most important things to remember is to never leave your dog in a parked car, even for a short period. Temperatures inside a car can reach dangerous levels within minutes, even with the windows cracked. This can lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal to dogs. In warmer weather, it is always better to leave your dog at home in a cool, shaded area. If you have to take them with you, bring them with you into air-conditioned buildings.

2. Keep your furry friend hydrated

Another way to protect your dog from the heat is to ensure they always have access to plenty of fresh, clean water. Dehydration can happen quickly in dogs, especially when they are active outdoors in the heat. Make sure your dog has access to a shaded area with a bowl of cool water nearby. Consider adding ice cubes to their water bowl to help keep it cool. You can even place a few bowls of water out for your dogs in different areas.

3. Shade

Providing a shaded area for your dog to rest in is also important. This can be in the form of a covered patio or a tree in your backyard. If you are taking your dog on a walk, try to stick to shaded areas.

4. Regular grooming

For dogs that shed, regular grooming is essential to help keep them cool in summer. Brushing your canine helps to rid your pet of the excess fluff that gets trapped in its coat.

5. Maintain a healthy weight

Making sure that your pet is a healthy weight is important for so many different reasons. Overweight hounds will find it more difficult to keep cool in warmer weather, so make sure that your pup is at the right weight for their size, breed, and activity levels.

6. Cooling mats

If you live in a particularly hot area that regularly has very warm summers, consider investing in a cooling mat for your dog to lay on. These mats can help regulate their body temperature. If you are feeling crafty, there are a bunch of online tutorials for dog cooling mats too. You can also help your canine to cool down with a cooling bandana, cooling coat, or simply a towel that has been in the freezer for a while.

7. Frozen dinner

Another clever canine cooling trick is to freeze your pooch’s dinner. Mix your pet’s dinner with some water or (salt-free) bone broth and place it in a Kong or similar treat-retrieval toy and freeze for a few hours. Remove the frozen Kong from the freezer for 15-20 minutes to thaw for a bit before giving it to your doggy for dinner. Not only will this chilly dinner help to cool them down from the inside, but it will also serve as a great mental stimulation.

How to keep a dog cool outside: Five tips for safe fun in the sun

While it is important to take precautions to protect your dog from the heat, that doesn't mean you can't still have fun in the sun with your furry friend! There are many ways to keep your dog cool and entertained during the summer months.

1. Splash pool

One option is to set up a kiddie pool or sprinkler in your backyard for your dog to play in. Many dogs, especially water-loving breeds like spaniels and retrievers, love to splash around in the water. This can help keep them cool on hot days. Just be sure to supervise your dog while they are playing in the water and always make sure they have access to fresh water to drink.

2. Pupsicles

Another fun way to keep your dog cool is to make or buy frozen dog treats. You can freeze fruits like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries in ice cube trays for a healthy and refreshing treat. You can also find many recipes online for homemade dog treats that you can freeze and serve to your pup on a hot day.

3. Play brain training games

If it’s too hot to go for walks, stimulate your pooch with some interactive games in your home or garden. They can burn a good deal of energy (without overheating) by going on a treat treasure hunt or doing a fun obstacle course.

4. Walking time at the right time

If you don’t want to miss out on your daily walks with Fido, time your walks for a cooler time of the day. Go early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun isn’t quite so ferocious. If much of your walk is on the tarmac, test the pavement with your hand before deciding to take your pup out. Place the back of your hand down on the surface for a while. If it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your pooch’s paws. If your hound loves water, look for walking routes with a stream or pond where they may splash around in to help cool them down.

5. Don’t forget the H2O

If you are taking your pooch out for a walk in warmer weather, be sure to pack in enough water to keep them hydrated. There are some awesome pooch-friendly drinking bottles available online. If your doggo doesn’t love drinking from the bottle, there are also some super handy portable dog water bowls to choose from.

Keeping cool on a budget is passionate about giving you tips and tools to help you spend life happy with your pets. From teaching young children how to behave around dogs, to DIY paw print keepsakes, and no-bake pet treats, we've got you covered. If you want to stock up on some pupsicle recipe ingredients or canine cooling gear, visit our coupon book finder to see if we deliver where you live.