How to Keep Your Dog Cool In Summer

Believe it or not, grooming can actually keep your dog cool! And I don’t necessarily mean by shaving them!
There are 9 different type of coats your dog could have but no matter the coat type this simple technique will keep your dog cool and allow them to efficiently regulate their body temperature.

BRUSH THEM!
I speak a lot about the importance of brushing your dog and I promise it is with good reason. Brushing your dog has many benefits and they’re not all cosmetic.

  1. Aids in blood circulation
  2. Removes dead undercoat
  3. Removes knots & tangles
  4. Distributes natural coat oils
  5. Just generally feels good 😛

Today we’re looking specifically at benefit #2. Removing the dead hairs or undercoat.
Doing so via brushing allows your dogs skin to breath, so to speak. Leaving the undercoat inhibits airflow making your dog feel warmer in hot weather.
For those that shed a lot or tend to knot easily, a quick brush every day to every other day is best.
For the rest, a quick brush once or twice a week is enough.
I say a ‘quick brush’ because I mean it. If you brush your dog regularly you won’t need to spend hours when you finally get around to it and your dog will thank you for it.

The knot or undercoat you can’t remove today, you’ll probably be able to get tomorrow. If that fails, cut it out and start again.

SHAVING
Although I don’t recommend shaving double coated breeds for reasons I’ve mentioned here. Shaving other coat types can make their coat more manageable for you to look after in terms of cleanliness and upkeep such as brushing which in a round-a-bout way will help keep your dog cooler.
If your dog’s hair is really long and you don’t want to/can’t brush the debris out every day, a shorter lengthed coat may be more manageable for you.
Sometimes a simple tummy or hygiene shave can also assist in keeping your dog cooler as these are often areas that are hard to brush and knot more easily.

CONCLUSION
Brushing your dog helps remove the excess hair that is trapping heat close to your dog’s skin, making them feel hotter. A hygiene shave or a shorter haircut on some dogs may assist with brushing and keeping them cooler but on some dogs, shaving them can actually make them feel warmer by exposing their skin to the suns rays.

Remember to speak to your groomer about what they can do to help your dog this summer!

CREATE A COOL ENVIRONMENT
We can’t all stay at home with our dogs with the cooler on so it’s best to help your dog keep cool naturally for those times when you can’t have them inside.

  1. Create shade.
    Trees are great for this but you can also put up some shade cloth and create the shade yourself. If you have a pergola or some sort of undercover area such as a garage, remember to actually go out there and check if it is, in fact, cool in that area especially if they only have one shaded/undercover area. My garage is quite cool most of the time but after a few hot days, it does become rather hot so I have 2-3 other options for my dog to go.
  2. Get a pool.
    The whole family will love you for it! Just kidding! I just mean the plastic clamshell kiddie pools! 😛 Fill both sides with water and place them in the shade so the water stays cool. Most dogs will wander into it or at least drink from it if it’s really hot even if they don’t like water. These pools have fairly high sides for smaller dogs so make sure you put something around it so they can walk in and out easily. Only fill them up enough to allow your dog to lay in the water safely.
  3. Give them a Gel Bed.
    You can buy them from here or eBay. Some work just like an ice pack. Pop it in the freezer, cover it with a towel or blanket and lay it out for your dog to use. Again, lay it in the shade to prevent it warming up too quickly.
  4. Lydia’s Doggy Ice Pack.
    Fill a freezer safe bottle 3/4 of the way with water and freeze it. Freeze as many as you like and put them all around the place: In your dog’s bed, near their mat, under a tree etc. These bottles can be used as something to lay next to, to lick and to keep the environment cool. Remember they will build condensation for your dog to lick and as the ice eventually melts the bottles will probably drip everywhere.
  5. Provide Doggy Icy Poles or Pupscicles 
    Get a silicone ice tray and fill it up with water and some food your dog loves. Now your dog can enjoy their own doggy icy pole! Watch your dog the first time you give them one to ensure they’re eating it safely i.e.: Just licking it away to reach the food.
    There are some great recipes all over the internet too! Place them inside a dog bowl to keep them off the ground and prevent your dogs treat from melting away.

Use as many of these methods as you can so your dog can choose whichever they prefer or suits them at that particular time but also provide a neutral spot for your dog. Don’t go placing gel beds over the top of every single bed your dog has or they will have nowhere to escape the cool strange gel thing!
from these, give your dog plenty of water bowls so they don’t have to go far to find water and always make sure their ‘stuff’ is out of the sun throughout the whole day – remembering the sun moves during the day so a shady spot now might be a sunny spot in an hour.

How do you keep your dog cool?