How can we be sure we are keeping our dogs cool this summer?

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Answered by: Jennifer, An Expert in the Care for Dogs and Puppies Category
As the summer temperature and heat begin to rise, it becomes more important to help keep our dogs cool. Dogs naturally keep cool by panting and sweating through their paws. However, they depend on their owner to provide plenty of water and access to shade. There are plenty of ways for owners to beat the heat with their favorite pooch.

Many owners wonder if keeping their dog outside throughout the day is a good idea. Depending on the thickness of your dog’s coat and where you live, staying outdoors year-round may not be a safe or healthy option for your dog. Once the temperature outdoors reaches 80 degrees Farenheit, many dogs begin to have heat-related experiences.

Keeping our dogs cool in the increasing heat can be done easily by setting out extra water, adding ice cubes to a bowl of water, filling a kid’s pool with cold water and floating tennis balls, providing a tent for shade, or a freezing a block of ice with a toy frozen in the center. Outdoor fans are also great tools. They use low amounts of energy and will help in keeping our dogs cool.

There are hundreds of products on the market that are meant to keep our dogs cool, mobile, and hydrated in the summer heat. Even better, they are relatively inexpensive. Check your pet store for dog-friendly water bottles to take along on walks, portable, pocket-sized bowls to use at the dog park, water-friendly dog toys for lakes and pools, and hose attachments that allow your pup to get fresh water from the hose anytime.

Our dogs aren't the only ones trying to beat the heat. So, we have a pool party for all of our canine friends to keep cool and socialize. Kid-sized pools make great wading pools for dogs. Floating toys keep their interest and their feet in the cool water. Running a sprinkler in the yard that flushes our pups with water makes for a great chase game. We also provide Pupsicles and shaved ice treats to keep their tongues refreshed and their tails wagging.

When we go to the dog park, we bring along a nylon, portable dog bowl to be our dog's water dish. These portable bowls are available at all pet supply stores. Dog-friendly water bottles are also available that have a flap that folds down to allow your pup a cool drink of water. Of course, we still bring treats for all of our buddies.

As we play together, we monitor their behavior for signs of fatigue and thirst. Offering water and a cool treat more often becomes the norm.

Heatstroke is a common reaction for a dog that gets overheated. Watch your pup for excessive panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, a dark tongue, excessive thirst, restlessness, fever, vomiting, or lack of coordination. These are signs a dog could be getting overheated and is possibly suffering from a heatstroke. If a dog is having a heatstroke, wrap a cool, wet towel around their neck and immediately transport them to the vet.

There are plenty of ways to keep our dogs cool so we can all enjoy the summer sunshine together.

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