You’ve heard it before and it’s true…panting is not enough to keep dogs cool in excessive heat. And even though they sweat through their foot pads and nose surface…they can still suffer in hot humid weather. Certain types of dogs, short-nosed breeds (brachycephalic) such as Boxers, Pugs and Bulldogs, obese and senior dogs, can be especially sensitive to heat. Dogs instinctively search out shade and a cool spot to lie down. Now sometimes those cool spots might not be where you’d like…for example, dogs seem to know that the earth is cool. So where is there an abundance of nice cool earth? Your garden of course. Or, you’ll find them under a shady tree if you have one in your yard.
So what can you do to help your dog? Molded hard plastic pools, cooling mats, cooling coats, and air conditioned environments are great options. But first and foremost, have fresh cool drinking water available at all times.
Some dogs like to lie in a pool while others prefer to run through a sprinkler. Remember to empty the pool at night, it’s a magnet for mosquitoes. Cooling mats provide a comfortable and cool spot for dogs to lie down. They come in a variety of sizes just like dogs. They are a great option for crates. But if your dog is on the move or when you’re walking your dog… a cooling coat is the best alternative. Evaporative coats actually absorb the heat from the dog’s body. The coat is soaked in water, gently squeezed then placed on the dog. The dog stays dry, the heat from the dog is evaporated into the air through the coat. The coats can keep the dog cool for up to three hours or more, depending on the outside temperature and the dog. And dogs soon learn that a cooling coat feels good.
Although we hear it on the news about not leaving your children or your pets in a parked car in the heat – people still do it. Even if the window is open…the internal temperature of the car becomes an oven – it can reach 120 degrees or more in 10 to 20 minutes. While cooling coats can help keep dogs cool, they are not the answer to keeping your dog cool in the car. If you must take your dog with you then have another human in the car so that while you’re doing errands, the other person can remain in the car with the dog in comfortable air conditioning.
If your home isn’t air conditioned, your dog will find the coolest spot in the house to lie on, ceramic floors or concrete basements. Keep an eye on them…dogs can suffer from heat stroke and even get sunburned. As always, prevention is the best guard against problems for your dog. And of course, a cooling coat is a must.
This is Val and Angie from the Cool Dog Blog. Stay cool.