10 tips to keep your dog cool in summer

10 tips to keep your dog cool in summer

Intense heat may reduce its appetite and desire to move about, but it can also have much more serious consequences, such as the feared heat stroke.

1. Keep it hydrated

Have fresh and clean water at its disposal 24 hours a day and check regularly if there is enough water in the drinker and it isn't standing in the full sunshine. In summer water can easily evaporate or simply get so warm your dog won't drink it any longer.

You can also put various drinkers around the house, especially near those places where the dog usually rests. This way there is always water near, even if the dog doesn't want to move. Water is not only important at home: don't forget to bring a portable drinker when you go out for a walk, on an outing, or take your dog on a journey by car.

2. Prepare home-made ice cubes

Try putting some ice cubes in the drinker. Ice won't do your dog any harm and if the water is too cold to its liking, have another drinker without ice ready so it can choose the water it prefers. Ice is also useful for home-made toys.

All you need for this is an ice cube mould or a plastic container, some water and a few bits of fodder. Mix the fodder with the water and let it freeze. When you take out the blocks of ice, pass them under water so that the tongue won't stick and give them to your dog. Actually, for this game it is best to have an outdoor space, such as a terrace. This home-made toy tends to be very successful with dogs, but you will have to clean up after every session.

3. Protect it from the sun

It is very important to have a cool place in the shade where your dog can rest, especially during the hottest hours of the day. This is necessary both when it lives indoors or only outdoors.

4. Cool the air

A ventilator or air-conditioning can be useful to reduce the ambient temperature.

5. Keep it wet

Wetting your dog, especially its head and torso, can help lower its temperature. Dogs do not sweat like people do, but when the water you wet it with evaporates, it creates an effect similar to sweating. Setting up a dog pool in your garden is also a good way to keep your dog cool.

6. Adapt its bed

In summer, many dogs prefer to rest on the floor. This may be the consequence of a bed which is too hot to be suited for the heat of summer. There are many beds for sale which help disperse heat, for instance beds which do not rest on the floor and those made of breathable fabric. There are also cooling mats which help a dog maintain its body temperature. It is important to know that when you use these mats, your dog should always have the freedom to choose where it will lay down to rest.

7. Cut its hair

We are not talking about shaving, but if your dog has long hair, cutting it and, especially on the belly, could be another way of helping it control its temperature. When you cut its hair, leave about 2-3 centimetres' length as its hair in part protects against heat and sunburn.

8. Brush it

Whether you cut its hair or not, a frequent brush is commendable to enhance shedding and take out the undergrowth, the finest and most woolly hair of its coat which serves to keep it warm in winter.

9. Do not engage in any physical activities during the hottest hours

It is important to take your dog for a walk when the heat is less intense and to avoid that it gets too much exercise.

10. Feed it when it isn't so hot

When a dog's appetite is affected by the heat, you could feed it during the least hot hours of the day, such as early morning and the evening.