How to Cool Down a Dog

Living in a country like Australia, with soaring temperatures extending over many months, it is important to know how to keep dogs cool in the summer to ensure that they do not overheat. Unlike humans, dogs are not able to sweat from their body, meaning they find it more difficult to cool down than we do (especially when you factor in their furry coat!). When you see your dog panting to cope with the warmer weather, having strategies and information about how to cool down a panting dog is essential.
To help you protect your dog from the powerful heat this summer, we have provided some useful tips for how to cool a dog down safely and efficiently.

Dehydrated Dogs

Dehydration in dogs is a potentially dangerous condition that can result when an animal becomes overheated. Always ensure that you are providing free access to fresh water all year round. Dehydration that is not addressed can cause a range of problems including kidney failure and even death. Dehydrated dog symptoms may include loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, panting, sunken eyes, dry nose and thick saliva. If you are concerned about your dog’s health it is important to consult your vet.

How to Keep a Dog Cool Inside the House

During periods of very hot temperatures, it is important to avoid unnecessary excitement or activity. Providing cool shelter in the sweltering summer months is also vital for preventing your pet from overheating. For houses without cooling solutions like air-conditioning (AC), the elevated temperatures can be difficult to manage. However, there are some effective strategies to utilise when thinking about how to keep dogs cool without AC when the mercury soars.
Allowing dogs inside with access to hard cool flooring such as tiles is ideal. You should also ensure there is air movement from fans (if your dog is not fearful of them) or open doors and windows to make the most of any breeze. When thinking about how to cool a dog down, you can wet them down gently if your dog is confident with and enjoys being wet. Cooling mats and coats are another option to consider for dogs who are comfortable with this.

Dog Cooling Products

When you are looking for different ways to cool a dog down, there are products that you can buy to help. Things like a dog cool coat or cooling mat are simple purchases that will provide your pup with some immediate relief from the hot weather. When you introduce something new to your dog, ensure that it is introduced slowly and with lots of positive reinforcement. We want them to form strong positive associations with anything new, especially when it is going to be placed on their body.

How to Keep Your Dog Cool Outside

When your dog spends time outdoors, they should have the option to enjoy some fresh air in shaded areas protected from direct sun.
While physical exercise is important to a dog’s overall wellbeing, during hot weather it is best to avoid outside walks. On very hot days you can instead focus on providing your dog with increased mental stimulation at home through the use of enrichment. Many interactive food toys can be placed in the freezer once filled to provide your dog with a fun and cooling activity to enjoy.
When thinking about how to cool a dog down at night, it is important to take their sleeping location into account. Whether sleeping inside or outside, they should always have access to shelter, plenty of cool drinking water as well as a cool surface to lay on (e.g. tile flooring, a cooling mat or shaded grass).

How to Keep a Dog Cool in the Car

There may be times when you will need to travel with your dog in the hot weather. Knowing how to cool down a dog in the car is all part of keeping your pet safe while you are out and about.
Running your car for a few minutes prior to letting your dog in is ideal. This will give the air- conditioner time to cool down the inside of the car and make it much more comfortable and safe for your pet. It is critical that you never leave your dog in the car without the air-conditioning running as the heat can rapidly become life-threatening. When you are in the car with your dog, be sure to travel with cool drinking water and employ the use of sunshades.


  • How to Keep a Dog Cool on a Walk

    While it is best to avoid walks on very hot days, if you and your dog are still very keen for an outing despite the hot weather it is good to know how to keep a dog cool on a walk. To do this, walk after dark or early in the morning to avoid the main heat of the day. It is also best to avoid dark bitumen and roads as these surfaces can hold heat for some time (even when no longer in direct sun). If in doubt, press the back of your hand against the surface for several seconds. If it feels hot to you, it is too hot for your dog to walk on.

  • Do Fans Help Dogs Cool Down?

    Yes, using a fan to help cool down a dog is a viable choice, as long as your dog is comfortable with this. Some dogs find fans to be quite scary, so ensure that you test their response to the fan with gentle, low level exposure first. Have the fan at a distance and on the lowest setting while you watch for your dog’s response and feed them treats.

  • How to Cool a Dog Down with a Temperature

    If you think your dog has a fever or has over-heated, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately.



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