Keeping your dog COOL this summer
How to cool down your dog
They are your best friend. When you travel you look for places that allow you to bring them along. They would walk next to you for a hundred miles and still keep going – with a smile on their face.
Yes, your dog is the light of your life and brightens you day just by coming in the room. And jumping in your lap. And licking your face. Your dog is amazing.
And you would do anything for them. You would buy them any treat. But are you paying attention to their subtle signs of heat exhaustion in the summer?
How to tell if your dog is overheating
Dogs don’t sweat like we do. Instead they pant. You see them with their tongue hanging out, breathing quickly, and you know they are staying cool. But what about when it gets very hot? Or they are stuck in a small space for too long, such as your hot trailer while you are camping?
Watch for these signs that your dog may not be able to cool himself off enough through simple panting. It could be as simple as not paying attention. When you call his name, did he turn and look right away, or did he instead start to wander off in the wrong direction? Disorientation can be an early sign of heat exhaustion.
Excessive drooling, dizziness or lack of coordination, rapid heart rate, glazed eyes or lethargy are more early signs your dog is suffering from overheating. Paying attention to these early warning signs can allow you to get your dog somewhere cool right away. If you have not noticed right away, some more extreme signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include falling down, convulsions, loss of consciousness, vomiting, diarrhea, or a bright red or blue tongue.
Tips to cool down your dog
If your dog has exhibited any of these signs, be sure to get them to a cool location and get them plenty of water. Other tips to cool down your dog include:
- Put ice in their water dish
- Spray them with mist from a hose
- Or cover them with a wet blanket or towel
- Put a fan in front of them to create an artificial wind
- Put them in shallow water such as a bathtub or baby pool
Dogs have sweat glands in their feet to help cool them down. This isn’t enough usually so getting their feet and lower extremities into cool water can help the sweat glands in their feet to work better.
Your pet may naturally find a shady spot to lay down and cool off. But be sure to check on them regularly. As mentioned earlier in this article, lethargy and falling over are signs of heat exhaustion.
Don’t assume they are napping peacefully, check their gums and tongue to check for the dark red or blue color mentioned above instead of their natural pink color. Offer them water and spray them with a light mist to keep them cool.
Even if they aren’t suffering from heat exhaustion, playing in the hose is great fun on a hot summer day!