How to Keep Your Canine Cool This Summer

The dog days of summer are upon us, which means more time for fun in the sun with fido! And, along with more time in the sunshine comes more opportunities to expose your dog to the heat – something that, if not monitored, can lead to severe heat stroke.

However, just because the temperatures are rising doesn’t mean your dog has to be left at home or stuck inside. While taking your pup to the pool or lake is a given, The Happy Puppy Tips team has also rounded up three of the coolest gadgets to help your canine stay comfortable this summer so you can both enjoy the season together!

Why Keeping Your Dog Cool is Crucial

When the temperatures rise, our bodies help us acclimate by sweating – a natural way to regulate our body temperature. The water released through the pores in your skin evaporates when it hits the air and essentially cools your body. 

However, unlike humans, dogs aren’t able to sweat out their excess body heat. And while panting acts as a natural aid to releasing heat, it’s not always enough to cool them down, especially during hot summer weather.  As a result, your pup can quickly become overheated, leading to heat exhaustion, and, if their temperature rises above 106 degrees, places them at risk for heat stroke.

Along with excessive panting, common signs of heatstroke in dogs include an increased heart rate, confusion or disorientation. vomiting or diarrhea, and bright red gums. If your dog has been exposed to high temperatures and is experiencing any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian or local pet emergency hotline immediately.

Three Gadgets to Keep Your Canine Cool All Summer Long

Cooling Mats

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One of the quickest ways to cool your dog down in the hot weather (especially if they’ve been running around) is by placing ice packs directly on their groin and armpits, since these areas help regulate your dog’s body temperature. However, getting your dog to sit still while doing that can be a bit of a hassle.

Enter: cooling mats. These chilled mats (which stay cold for up to six hours!), are designed to cool off a dog’s body from underneath. By laying directly on these mats on a hot day or after a play session, your dog can remain comfortable on hot days and avoid overheating. 

Specially Made Sunscreen

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You never skip the SPF, so why should your dog? Like humans, dogs are also at risk for sunburn and skin cancer, especially hairless breeds and those with light or thin coats. However, the sunblock humans use are often filled with chemicals that can be harmful to your dog, like zinc oxide and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).

Instead, opt for pet-specific sunscreen products, which are available as easy-to-apply balms and sprays to block UVA and UVB rays.

Frozen Chew Toys

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We all love a refreshing, frosty beverage to cool us down on a hot day, and your dog is no exception! Frozen chew toys are not only great for your pup’s dental hygiene, but also a safe toy to enjoy in the summer. Just pop them in the freezer and let your dog enjoy chewing on them on a hot day.

If you don’t have a frozen chew toy and are in a pinch, a Happy Puppy Tips reader suggests filling up a kong with some peanut butter, letting it freeze, and giving it to your pup as a frozen treat to enjoy!

While these gadgets are sure to help your canine keep cool this summer, remember that just 10 to 15 minutes in 90 degree or higher heat can be dangerous for your dog. Try to limit outdoor time and excessive exercise in the hotter months, and, if you notice your dog is overheating, contact your veterinarian immediately to avoid a disastrous situation. 

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