It is imperative that we know how to keep our dogs cool, especially during the summer. Depending on where you live, temperatures can soar. If you think the suffering is bad enough, the dogs may be having it worse. Some breeds have a thicker layer of hair than us, and that means they are taking double damage. If you own a dog not classified as a desert breed, you should take heed on how you can help to keep them cool.
Let’s start off with some products that I personally recommend that would help your dogs stay cool in the heat. These products are not only effective but they also provide alternative avenues for your dog to lose that superfluous heat that are suited to varying scenarios. Then, we look at some practices to keep in mind or to conduct to keep your dogs cool. The products are:
- Car Shades
- Dog Crate Fan
- Electric Car Fan
- Dog Cooling Harness
- Self Cooling Dog Mat Pad
- Dog Cooling Collar Or Bandana
- Dog Boots
- Dog Paw Wax Or Paw Balm
- Dog Sunscreen
- Elevated Dog Bed With Shade
- Dog Water Bottle
- Self Cooling Dog Bowl
And the practices:
- Do Not Leave Your Dogs In Car
- Water Activities
- Controlled Exercise
Most of the time when a dog might be experiencing discomfort from the heat, from my experience as a pet owner, is during traveling. They are exposed to the natural elements outdoors, an environment where we have less control over as compared to in our houses, and thus they stand to incur more severe damage. The first form of protection start within the mode of transport during these travels. Most commonly, it is the car.
Start off by keeping your car cool. Get a car shade to block out not only the piercing sun rays, but also the staggering heat from entering and residing within the interior of the car to pile on the misery of everyone. I personally recommend the kinder Fluff Car Sun Shade because it is translucent yet it efficiently blocks out the sunlight. This means the dogs can still enjoy the passing scenery on a car ride, which is something they do not want to miss out whenever they are traveling in a car. They also have strong grip suction to stay on the windows firmly even if they get pestered by the dog’s constant meddling.
These car sun shades should also be placed on the windows of your car when you are not driving to keep the car cool. You may consider the EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade to do the job. This windshield shade is no translucent as its priority is in halting the sun rays from penetrating the windshield and heating up the interior of the car. It is made of high quality nylon polyester material that is meshed tightly together to achieve this. On top of it, the material is stretchable to cover all areas of your windshield to ensure the perfect blockade. It is placed on the inner site of your car’s windshield, a brilliant design as well as there is no worry about it getting dirty.
Dog Crate Fan
The next essential item is the dog crate fan. Some of us travel with our dogs in a crate, which restricts the movement of our dogs in the car. They can easily get heated up if they are not allowed to move around to find a comfortable spot or position to fight the heat. The situation is worse if the car is stuffy, which is usually the case at the beginning of the journey. Hence, why not make the crate THE spot to get comfortable and cool?
The EXCOUP USB Pet Fan is definitely the best buy. It is affordable and can be powered by USB or battery, perfect for traveling in the car. It comes with a hanger to hook on the cage of any metal dog crate. It’s fan blades are covered by a plastic container to prevent any harm to your dog as well. This will cool your dog crate greatly and make your dog enjoy its spot in the crate more.
Electric Car Fan
If you own a large dog and you do not put them in a crate in the car backseat like we could with small and medium sized dogs, the dog crate fan will not be applicable for you. Let me present to you the alternative.
Use the XOOL Electric Car Fan to blast gust after gust of wind into the backseat of the car to create a cooling environment for your dog. These fans are at a higher voltage than the dog crate fans to generate more vigorous airflow and yank the temperature down a steeper cooling gradient.
Dog Cooling Harness
If you live in a state where there are laws where leashing dogs are mandatory, you might as well clad your dog in a dog cooling harness. There are dog harnesses designed with this specific function.
For the record, I can’t believe there isn’t such a vest for humans yet. I guess the world loves dogs more than humans.
I personally recommend the SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness. It is affordable and practical as it comes with a ring attachment at the top of the vest so that it can be hooked to a leash and used as a harness as well. It requires the harness to be wet and then wrung before putting on the dog, which is pretty handy if you are going for a walk or hike with water bodies along the way. The cooling process is based on evaporation cooling principal where it takes heat away from your dog to cool it. Its material is also reflective to divert thermal energy away from your dog. Its price tag and functionality makes it the best choice amongst its competitors. Previous customers from Amazon agrees so as well.
Self Cooling Dog Mat Pad
A self cooling dog mat pad is another accessory you should not miss in combating the summer and heat. It has to be on your checklist because it is thin, usually foldable, and portable. It is perfect for home use and travel as well. It can also be used as the sleeping pad in your dog’s crate. A single item with multiple functions!
Look no further that the Arf Pets Self Cooling Dog Mat Pad. It capitalizes on the material properties of a solid gel to remove heat from your dog’s body and recycle the thermal energy to maintain a constant cool surface for your dog to enjoy. The gel is 100% safe for animals and the cover of the mat pad is also made of highly durable material to prevent punctures from clawing or chewing. It can be used right away without any prior preparation. Washing is also a breeze.
Dog Cooling Collar Or Bandana
A dog cooling collar, or some say a bandana, is one of the best kept secrets to keep your dogs cool. Literally no one in my social circle heard of it and I am now going to share with you this treasure.
Taking the Amazon’s Choice: ALL FOR PAWS Chill Out Ice Bandana for instance, it is made of a special material that retains the coolness from the moisture after your have rinsed and wrung it. However, the killer feature about it, or any dog cooling collar, is that it is worn around the neck of the dog. The significance is that this coolant is set near the core of the dog’s thermostat, allowing it to effectively keep your dogs cool. It attacks the problem right at its core. Couple this with this tip from one of the Amazon customers.
This product is a pretty appropriate and ingenious invention that can do the job of cooling your dog well by virtue of how and where it is going to be used.
The heat from the ground is another source of heat contribution. You will need dog boots to effectively eliminate its effect. This can take place during a normal walk along the hot pavement during summer, or a trip to a desert even during the winter.
For that I recommend the Amazon’s Choice: QUMY Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes. It is an effective paw-wear for your dog for all kinds of weather. They are also waterproof which makes it easy to clean. They will give you the bang for the buck as you can see from the consensus from the satisfied customer reviews.
These boots can be used in many places for many activities, hence I would like to reiterate my recommendation here. I never regretted getting them for my dogs. After years of using them, apart from the wearing off of the grooves, they are still durable and very wearable.
Dog Paw Wax Or Paw Balm
In the event that your dog is not a sneakerhead, you can consider the dog paw wax or paw balm an alternative. It is a layer of wax that is topically applied to the paws of your dog, forming an intangible layer of protection, replacing the dog boots to give your dogs the extra layer of protection from the heat and the harsh surface of the ground.
The Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax is my go-to choice for dog paw wax. It starts off as a soft gel that can be easily applied over the surface of the paws. After a short while it hardens and is ready to do its job. My dog did not have to wait too long after application to move around on its limbs. It does not cause any irritation to my dog as well. On top of that, it can be used for various surfaces, which makes it an essential accessory for all kinds of outdoor activities or travels with your dogs.
Much to my surprise, there is such a thing as a dog sunscreen. Dogs need protection against the sun rays as well, very much like us. They can suffer from sunburn and rashes too if they are subjected to protracted exposure to the stinging sun rays.
This can easily happen especially during trekking under the sun during winter when the weather is cool. Unknowingly, our dogs and us are still in the process of sustaining sunburn injuries even though we do not feel the heat of the sun rays on our skin because our surroundings are deceivingly cool. While we are intelligent enough to learn about this from our experience and science, dogs do not. In fact, they will tend to stay under the sun to keep warm, increasing the risk of getting sunburnt.
In this case, getting them under the shade is definitely not the best option as they will suffer from the cold. Hence, a dog sunscreen will come into play very appropriately for this scenario.
The Essential Oil Sunscreen by Gerrard Larriett makes a great choice for sunscreens for dogs. They not only protect your dog from UV rays, but also deeply moisturize your dogs’ skin and prevent them from drying up and cracking with the use of natural ingredients like coconut oil. It is fragrant as well and uses essential oil that have numerous health benefits like keeping your dog’s fur free of fleas.
Elevated Dog Bed With Shade
Get an elevated dog bed with shade for your next camping trip with your dog. These beds rest on stands and are elevated away from the ground. It is not in contact with the hot ground to keep your pets cool.
On top of that it has a shade to shield your dog from the stinging rays of the hot sun. Without direct sunlight, it provides a cool spot where your dog can rest properly in between breaks during their playtime.
I personally recommend the SUPERJARE Outdoor Dog Bed. The base of the bed is made of a breathable fabric that allows circulation of air to efficiently keep our dogs cool. Light but sturdy, it is also easy to clean. That, to me, can make the difference in a camping trip.
Dog Water Bottle
Keeping your dogs hydrated is a direct solution to keeping your dogs cool. Bring along a dog water bottle for your dogs drink up and keep themselves cool after losing all the water from sweating.
I will go with the Amazon’s Choice for this one. The lesotc Pet Water Bottle for Dogs is ergonomically designed for feeding in any location without fear of spillage. It can remain in its natural upright position while releasing water on a makeshift cup at the top of its bottle neck by squeezing. The cup is made of rubber and it fits securely to the bottle neck to prevent any spillage. The best thing I like about this is its ability to fold the rubber cup down around the top of the bottle when not in use. This keeps it compact for storage which is critical when traveling and since it is made of rubber, it will not spoil and break from all that folding. This is a real game changer for me and I strongly recommend to bring along this water bottle for your furry friends.
Self Cooling Dog Bowl
A dog bowl that can keep water cold can be a good addition on a hot summer day.
It will ensure your dog has access to cold water to help them cool off and fight the heat. This is especially critical if your dog breed is not accustomed to warm weather. I personally recommend getting one that does not require electricity so that you can bring along for your road trips with your dog, in addition to using it at home.
Look no further than K&H Pet Products Coolin’ Water Bowl. The way it works is using pre frozen water and water crystals to keep the bowl cold for up to 15 hours. In turn, the water will become cold when in contact with the bowl. Your dog will surely love it on a hot summer day. You can also bring this pre frozen bowl along on your trips with your dog during the summer days.
On the backdrop of the last 2 products I introduce to help your dogs keep cool, it is important to highlight that they are not going to be useful if you do not practise the habit of regularly hydrating your dog.
Dogs, just like humans, will lose a lot of water during the hot days from perspiration as their body works to use sweat to remove heat from itself via evaporation. Without a constant supply of water to power this mechanism, it can easily lead to heat injuries for your dogs.
Sometimes your dogs may not have the habit to rehydrate themselves until it is too late. It is up to us as responsible dog owners to identify when our dogs are getting dehydrated.
There are different ways to test if your dogs are dehydrated. I have written about 4 different ways and hopefully you can learn from my experiences. We would be able to detect potential dangers by learning how to pick up these telltale signs and act immediately before it gets any worse.
Dehydration does not happen within a short span of time after all. The signs are always there. We just have to learn how to spot them.
Do Not Leave Your Dogs In Car
It can become very hot in the car during the summer. Temperature can rise to 160 degrees Fahrenheit easily in less than an hour. For comparison, a normal oven ranges from 120 to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch this experiment run by Dana in the video below.
So, you are essentially cooking your dogs by leaving them in the car during hot summer days. Apart from the heat, they will lose a lot of water from dehydration as well. It is dangerous to say the least.
Hence, do not leave your dog in the car. I personally think that it should not be practised even on cool days as it can very easily slip one’s mind. We should stop it before it becomes a habit.
Cool it off with your dogs with some water activities. Visit a nearby beach or pet friendly water park and spend some time in the water.
It will be a fun time for you and your dog and will be very much needed on a hot day.
Dogs still need to move around during the hot days, especially young ones of the active breeds. They may not be aware of how quickly the danger of heat injury can engulf them and may over exert themselves.
Whilst restricting any form of exercise is the absolute solution to prevent unnecessary heat injuries, it is not the most practical one. Instead, practise controlled exercise with your dog. For example, take it out for a walk but shorten the duration of it; walk in the park where trees can provide ample shade; or bring along a dog water bottle for rehydration purposes.
In this way, your dog will be able to avoid any heat injury but still get its daily dose of workout.
Keeping a healthy body fur is also crucial to help your dog dissipate heat. Grooming can prevent knots in the fur from forming and trapping heat within.
A dirty and matted fur, especially during the hot summer days, becomes a good nest for germs and flies to thrive. This can bring diseases not only to your dog, but also to your and your family living under the same roof.
This is not exclusively a job that only the professionals can do. I tend to have the impression that grooming means bring your dogs to a pet grooming center. Wrong!
Grooming does not always require cutting and trimming furs. The emphasis here is on maintaining hygiene of your dog. You can easily do it yourselves by combing and bathing your dogs properly.
For example you can get a Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo to keep your dogs’ fur clean and free of fleas. Compared to a normal dog hair shampoo, this uses plant-based essential oils that makes it not only twice as effective for repeling fleas, but also twice as safe due to its all natural ingredients. The essential oils leave a lingering fragrance as well to ensure lasting protection.
Make use of the FURminator for Dogs Undercoat Deshedding Tool as well to effortlessly keep your dogs fur free from knots and remove loose hair without cutting its skin. Healthy fur allows for proper airflow and thus better regulation of heat instead of trapping it.
These small acts of hygiene practices can significantly, albeit subtly, keep your dog cool.
Last but not least, is to practise a bit of empathy for your dog and, to put it across more bluntly, a bit of common sense. Put yourselves in the shoes of your dogs and you will be able to discover many areas that you can improve on to keep your dogs cool.
For instance, avoid putting the dog cage where the sun can reach. It already confines the dog within a small area, and without the freedom to move out of the sunlight, it will make your dogs really uncomfortable. As the dog, you would not want to stay under the sun on a hot day and will want to find a shady area instead to rest.
Another example is to open the windows of your house to ventilate the airflow and keep the house cool. Prevent the house from getting stuffy is a fundamental way to keep the house and your dog cool.