Ways to Keep Your Old Dog Cool During Hot Days
Image source: Elements Envato
During the summer, we can’t help but complain about how hot it is outside. The moment you step out of your doorstep, the hot air embraces your body and sweat starts dripping all over. You go on the whole day and rant about how you wish summer was over while comfortably sitting on the couch, sipping on some cold drink with the AC turned on. Then there’s your dog, staring at you, pleading that you notice he feels hot too and that he needs to cool down.
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from heatstroke too. But unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat, plus they have fur which makes it twice as hot during the summer. With that, they can only rely on panting, releasing hot air through their nose and paw pads to keep their body temperature at bay. Other than that, they don’t have any more options left. That’s why dogs can suffer from fatal heatstrokes just within minutes. Imagine yourself wearing a fur coat on a hot sunny day; that’s how your dog feels like during the summer.
Your dog can experience signs and symptoms of a possible heatstroke and dehydration. Here are a few:
- Excessive panting
- Dribbling or drooling
- Fatigue or depression (not as active as he used to be)
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
If you feel like your dog is starting to show signs of heatstroke, it’s best to treat it now before it gets worse. Frequently, when a dog shows almost all signs of heatstroke, it’s too late. That is why it’s crucial to prevent it as early as possible. Below are a few simple ways and reminders to keep your old dog cool during hot days:
Dogs Left in Hot Cars
First of all, never leave your dogs inside your car without the AC turned on while you do errands, shop, or go to the grocery. Actually, never leave your dog inside your car at all. Whether with the AC turned on or not. Car temperatures can increase into an oven’s temperature within minutes, even if it seems like it isn’t too hot or warm yet.
Never leave your dog inside the car because even “not long” is too long for them. If you know you can’t take your dog with you to the mall or the grocery store, then just leave him at home with cold water and enough ventilation to last the whole time while you’re out.
Also, aside from cars, better consider getting dog doors for your home. Through this, your dog/s can immediately enter your house without having to bark their lungs out for you to let them in when it gets too hot outside.
Make Water Available At All Times
Water is one of the most important things your dog should have, whether you’re at home or not. Dogs get dehydrated quickly, which can result in heatstroke. With that, always have plenty of [cold] water available at all times. Make fresh, cold water available and accessible for dogs 24/7, especially when they get too tired after an afternoon playdate with other dogs, a quick game of catch outside, etc.
When going out with your dog, it’s also crucial that you bring a portable or collapsible water bottle for him, in case he needs to hydrate every now and then. Once a dog starts panting heavily, immediately bring him somewhere with enough shade and give him all the water he needs, because it might be a sign of heatstroke kicking in.
Play in the Water
Who doesn’t want a little fun in the water? Back when you were still a child, I’m pretty sure you wanted to play in the water or have fun under the rain most, if not all, the time. The same thing goes for dogs too. Dogs need the water every now and then, especially during summer. Make it a habit or an afternoon bonding to play in the water with your dog. Make him dip for a few minutes in an inflatable pool, activate your sprinklers, take him to the lake, anywhere where water is accessible! Don’t forget to bring a few towels to dry them off once you’re done.
Give Them Frozen Treats
One hot summer day, you decided to get yourself some ice cream or a popsicle. Why not get one for your dog too? Just remember which types dogs can eat and which ones they couldn’t! Chocolate is a big no, so try getting your dog an orange popsicle or a vanilla or mango ice cream. Not only can you help your dog cool down on a hot sunny day, but you also make him happy by giving him random treats!
Check the Pavement
If you plan to walk your dog outside during the summer, think about how hot it’s going to be for him first. You can touch the pavement to check, and if it’s too hot for your palms, then it’s probably too hot for dog paws as well. Consider walking them at night or don’t walk at all, it’s summer after all! Why not just stay at home, relax, keep your house cool at all times so that your dog can relax and maintain or regulate his body temperature for a couple of hours.
Have Them Groomed
If your dog has long hair and it’s summer season, it’s the perfect time to take him to the vet to have him groomed. Ask them to get rid of all the mats and tangles because this will help keep him cool. However, it’s best to keep his coat on rather than completely shave it. Your dog may look like a furry lion but trust me, his coat is what regulates his body temperature and he needs it in the summer just as much as he needs in during winter.
Work on Their Weight
Overweight dogs tend to have a much harder time to keep his cool in such warm and sunny weather, which increases the risk of heatstroke. Help your dog out by giving them fewer amounts of food (but enough to keep them energized), exercise, etc. However, take into consideration that some dogs may have illnesses or conditions, which makes losing weight hard, so it’s best to consult the vet first.
Dogs are man’s best friend. Dogs make human lives a bit livelier and more fun. If anything, we owe much of our happiness to our dogs! But unlike humans, dogs can’t communicate and relay to their owners how they’re feeling. That’s why it’s important that you take the initiative to check on your dogs every once in a while to make sure that they are in their best condition and shape, especially during the summer.
Deinah Storm is a pet lover from the US that’s had cats and dogs all her life. When she’s not walking the dogs with her family, she spends time writing informational and interesting blogs about pets to share with pet lover communities.