How to Keep Your Dog Cool During the Summer
Veterinarian Reviewed on July 22, 2008 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Depending on where you live, we all know that the summer can be very hot and uncomfortable for us. Considerate pet owners will know that the same discomfort that affects people is likely to affect their dogs as well. As such, it is important to take certain steps to keep your dog cool during the hottest summer months. The following are some tips that you can easily follow whether you are indoors or outdoors with your dog.
- Air conditioning is obviously a great way to keep the house cool during the hottest months; unfortunately this isn’t always a viable option for most people. Instead, you can also invest in some fans for around the house. Moving the air around in the house prevents air from becoming stagnant. Also, when temperatures start to cool, you can put fans near open doors and windows to circulate cooler air throughout the house.
- Keep your pet hydrated! Just as people need to drink more water during the summer to prevent dehydration and heat stroke, so do dogs. Constant water access for dogs regardless of the season is advisable for all pet owners so it makes sense to ensure there is always water for your dog during the hot summer months. However, if you have a puppy that is not quite house trained, you may want to limit access to water during the night.
- Although it’s important to give dogs regular exercise, try to be mindful of the temperature. Once summer temperatures rise above 27 C (or about 80 F) you need to refrain from taking your dogs for longer walks. Also, consider avoiding walking on asphalt as it can get very hot on their feet. A trip to the park, or the beach, or somewhere that your dog can enjoy the water is a great alternative.
- Avoid exposure to the sun during the hottest hours of the day. Usually late morning to early afternoon is the hottest period of the day. Make sure your dog has access to shade during these hours or just stay inside the house.
- Finally, always make sure your dog has access to water if you’re going to be outdoors for long periods of time. Ample drinking water is important but it is also nice to pour water on your pet if it is especially hot.
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan