How to Cool a Dog Down
It can be surprisingly easy for people or dogs to get overheated in the hot months of summer. If you're too hot, you can grab a cold drink and sit in the AC. If your dog gets too hot, it's up to you to notice the signs and cool him down. If you're wondering how to cool down a dog, consider chilled mats, chilled water, and tasty cold treats as excellent options.
Overheating Is Dangerous for Dogs
The summer months make it easy for a dog to overheat. That's why it's important to be proactive about cooling your dog—don't wait until you notice signs of heat exhaustion. Take her for walks during the cooler parts of the day and never leave her alone in a car.
Heatstroke is dangerous. Signs include listlessness, glazed eyes, breathing harder, very high body temperature, or collapsing.1 Heatstroke is a medical emergency that requires a vet's attention.
That's why it's best to cool your dog down as part of your routine. If you keep your pup cool, you won't need to respond to a heatstroke emergency.
Here are some tips for cooling down your dog when the weather's hot.
1. Give Your Pup a Chilled Bed
If your dog needs to cool down, a chilled bed is a great place to start. The Cool Bed III works for indoor or outdoor use and doesn't require electricity. Just add water and keep it in a shady spot. If you use it outside, keep it overnight in a cold house to help it work even better.
Elevating a bed off the hot ground helps keep it cooler too. The Original Pet Cot is an elevated, waterproof bed with a mesh center that helps pets stay cool. You can put a Coolin' Pet Pad on top of it if you want. Or try a Coolin' Pet Cot for an elevated bed that's designed to stay cool.
2. Provide Lots of Cooled Water
You can help cool your dog down by having cool water readily available. The Coolin' Bowl is a great way to do this, whether you're at home or traveling with your pup. Freeze the bowl overnight and add water the next day. It doesn't require any electricity. Just bring the bowl and some bottled water if you're traveling or vacationing with your dog on a warm day.
3. Treat Your Dog to a Cold Snack
A cool snack can make your dog feel great when it's hot outside.2 You can use little ice cubes with treats inside or a frozen chew toy. You could even keep a bit of frozen banana mixed with peanut butter in the freezer. There are quite a few human foods safe for dogs that make yummy options.
4. Get Your Dog in Some Shade
Get your dog out of the hot sun and into some shade. An elevated, shaded bed kept outside is a great way to make sure your dog always has access to shade. The Pet Cot House has a window on each side that can be unzipped for better airflow on really hot days, while also providing shade for your dog.
5. Bring Your Pup Indoors
A good way to help your pet cool down is to bring her inside where the air conditioning is running. A fan usually isn't enough. Fans dry sweat, which cools humans down. But dogs don't primarily sweat; they cool down by panting (although they do sweat a little through their feet).3 This makes a fan not quite as helpful for dogs as it is for people. But a cool room with the AC running is a great getaway from the heat. To help even more, draw the blinds to keep the hot sun out.
6. Play in the Water Together
Playing in the water can be a great way to cool both you and your dog on a hot summer day.4 Get a kiddie pool, fill it up, and have fun running through the water and splashing around. You could even get a hose with a sprinkler attachment and shoot it into the air, letting your dog play in the gentle stream that comes down. (Be sure to keep the water volume low.) You could also get a wet, cool towel and let your pup lie on it.
Being proactive about keeping your dog cool in the summer is the best way to beat the heat. If your dog needs to cool down, use this as an opportunity to bond together in the shade while enjoying refreshing drinks before your next adventure.
1. Ward, Ernest. "Heat Stroke in Dogs." VCA, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/heat-stroke-in-dogs.
2. DiLonardo, Mary Jo. "How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer." Pets WebMD, 15 April 2018, https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/dog-cool-summer#1.
3. Conaboy, Kelly. "Do Fans Work on Dogs?" The Cut, 17 July 2019, https://www.thecut.com/2019/07/do-fans-work-to-cool-off-dogs.html#.
4. Union Lake Pet Services. "Play It Cool: Summer Fun for Dogs." UnionLakePetServices.com, 5 July 2017, https://unionlakepetservices.com/blog/play-it-cool-summer-fun-for-dogs.